The US Army is set to conduct the initial testing of its two Iron Dome batteries next year.

The service will take delivery of the two batteries in December this year and February next year.

Iron Dome battery systems are mobile air defence system developed to counter very short-range rockets and artillery shell threats.

Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) is under contract for the supply of two Iron Dome batteries.

The contract was awarded by the US Army for its interim cruise missile defence capability.

According to Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team director brigadier general Brian Gibson, the missiles, launchers and radar are currently in assembly line stage in Israel.

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By GlobalData

The systems will then be put through an equipment fielding and training programme in White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

A phased testing of each system will conclude with a live-fire engagement involving a surrogate cruise missile target.

Following the testing programme, the Iron Dome batteries will be fielded at Fort Bliss, Texas. They will enter operational deployment by September and December next year respectively.

The army is also looking for potential integration of the batteries into its Integrated Air and Missile Defense (AIAMD) framework.

Commenting on marines providing fire direction for the Iron Dome, Gibson said: “What the marines demonstrated was an interoperable solution, where they took a subset of an Iron Dome weapon system using their radar, launchers, those type of things.

“So, even though Iron Dome took direction from an outside mission command system, “the weapon system still made the ultimate decision on what to do. The army is just one piece of the joint and coalition air and missile defence fight.

“It’s an all-service activity that must provide an array of air and missile defence capabilities from land, air, and sea and it’s more than just bending new metal to make new things. It’s also about growing new formations of air defenders to achieve a greater outcome.”