US Army successfully completes live fire test of Iron Dome air defense system

According to information published by the Israeli company Rafael on August 2, 2022, the US Army, in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) took a critical step toward fielding the first of two RAFAEL-made Iron Dome Defense System-Army (IDDS-A) batteries. IDDS-A will defend supported forces within fixed and semi-fixed locations against sub-sonic Cruise Missiles (CM), Groups 2&3 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and rockets, artillery, and mortar threats.
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US Army has completed live firing test with Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense system. (Picture source Rafael)

White Sands Missile Range hosted the missile flight test, demonstrating the capabilities of the Iron Dome Defense System–Army (IDDS-A). US Army soldiers assigned to 3-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted multiple CM and UAS surrogate targets. The testing prepares the system for U.S. operational force's use by ensuring it meets U.S. Army safety standards and that the system will effectively operate within the U.S. AMD architecture.

Maj. Gen. Brian Gibson, Director AMD CFT: “It’s important to understand that implementation for the U.S. is about the ability to integrate this system into our air defense picture. We need to integrate this into our U.S. architecture, and to give confidence to our regional commanders that we can integrate this system safely into what they have.”

Brigadier General (Res.) Pini Yungman, Executive Vice President and Head of RAFAEL's Air & Missile Defense Directorate: "Once again, the Iron Dome has proven its effectiveness and operational capabilities in combat scenarios. As part of the U.S. Army's operational training, American troops operated the system which functioned with optimal effectiveness against a variety of threats and intercepted targets from different ranges. RAFAEL is proud to continue proving itself as a world leader in developing the most advanced defense systems, which have proven themselves time after time."

IMDO Director in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Mr. Moshe Patel: “This is the second interception test since the two batteries were supplied to the US Army at the end of 2020. In this test as well, the system intercepted all the threats, while being interoperable with US systems.”

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development leads the development of Israel’s multi-tiered air defense array, based on four operational layers: Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2, and Arrow 3.

The US Army plans to field both Iron Dome Defense System-Army (IDDS-A) batteries as an interim cruise missile defense solution, while the US Army continues to acquire an enduring IFPC Inc2 system. Future variants of the IFPC program include technology insertions such as directed energy, which will provide a critical protection capability against sub-sonic Cruise Missiles, Groups 2&3 Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Rockets, Artillery, and Mortars threats.

US Army successfully completes live fire test of Iron Dome air defense system 925 002
The launcher unit of the Iron Dome mounted on its truck carrier. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Iron Dome is a multi-mission air defense missile system designed and developed by the Israeli company Rafael able to counter rockets, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) ammunition and PGMs Precision Guided Munitions (VSHORAD). The system operates day and night in all weather conditions, including low clouds, rain, dust storms, or fog. The Iron Dome is in service with the Israeli armed forces since 2001 and successfully intercepted several thousand rockets. 

The Iron Dome can be used to protect cities, towns and strategic assets, maneuvering forces as well as ships. It can handle multiple threats simultaneously and efficiently. It uses a unique interceptor missile equipped with a special warhead that detonates the target warhead in the air. The system is able to counter very short-range rockets and 155mm artillery shell threats with ranges of up to 70 km.

An Iron Dome battery consists of four main components including detection and tracking radar, a battle management and weapon control system, and a missile firing unit.