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August 24, 2021

US Army conducts live fire test of Iron Dome defence system battery

The live fire test was conducted at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

The US Army, in conjunction with the Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), has conducted a live-fire test of the first of two Iron Dome air defence systems.

The Iron Dome Defense System-Army (IDDS-A) battery was tested at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

Soldiers from the US Army’s 3-43 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) engaged eight cruise missile surrogate targets as part of the live-fire event.

The test was assisted by defence contractors Iron Dome developers Rafael, IAI Elta and mPrest.

Israel Ministry of Defense tweeted: “The US Army, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and RAFAEL have successfully completed a live-fire test of the first US Army Iron Dome Defense System (IDDS-A) Battery, which the US acquired from Israel.

“The performance and live-fire test was conducted at the White Sands New Mexico (WSMR) test range, and was the first time US soldiers intercepted live targets employing the Iron Dome System.”

The US Army has plans to field both IDDS-A batteries as an ‘interim’ cruise missile defence solution.

According to the service, IDDS-A will defend supported forces within fixed and semi-fixed locations against sub-sonic cruise missiles, Groups 2 &3 UASs, and mortar threats.

Under an agreement signed in 2019, Israel sold two Iron Dome batteries to the US, with the first being delivered late last year and the second in January this year.

Iron Dome is a combat-proven truck-towed, multi-mission mobile air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. It protects population and critical assets and can be strategically placed to reduce collateral damage.

In May, US President Joe Biden said the country will provide full support to replenish depleted batteries of Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system.

The batteries were depleted during the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza.

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