Saudi Arabia shows interest for Israeli Iron Dome air defense missile

According to the Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung website, Saudia Arabia has showed interest to purchase the Israeli-made Iron Dome, a short-range air defense missile systems able to detect, assess, and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars ammunition.

Saudi Arabia shows interest for Israeli Iron Dome air defense missile system 925 001
Israeli-made Iron Dome Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) and Very SHOrt-Range Air Defense (V-SHORAD) System(Picture source Rafael)

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have any official diplomatic relations. However, news reports have surfaced indicating behind-the-scenes diplomatic and intelligence cooperation between the countries.

According to a May 2015 article by The Times of Israel, the London-based Arab paper Rai al-Youm reported that Israel had offered to provide Saudi Arabia with Iron Dome technology against rockets from bordering Yemen. The proposal was reportedly sent via American diplomats during a meeting in Amman, Jordan, and subsequently refused. Official sources have not confirmed the report. (Source Wikipedia)

The Iron Dome Weapon System, developed by the Israeli Company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, works to detect, assess and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars. American Company Raytheon teams with Rafael on the production of Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missiles, which strike down incoming threats launched from ranges of 4-70 km.

The Iron Dome is the only dual mission system in the world that provides an effective defense solution for countering rockets, artillery & mortars (C-RAM) as well as aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, PGMs. The system is an effective system for countering C-RAM threats with ranges of up to 70 km and for VSHORAD protection (up to 10 km). The system operates in all weather conditions, including low clouds, rain, dust storms or fog.

Since becoming operational by the Israeli Air Force in April 2011, Iron Dome has successfully intercepted over 500 rockets that have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Southern and Central Israel. Iron Dome system has achieved a very high rate of successful interceptions. In doing so, the system saved lives and prevented serious damages to property.

Although Israel remains the sole operator of Iron Dome, several countries have expressed interest in the system, including the United States. Raytheon is working toward production of a U.S. version of Iron Dome called the “SkyHunter™ missile” that could someday defend forward-deployed American forces

In October 2017, at AUSA, the Association of United States Army exhibition and conference in Washington D.C., the American Company Raytheon has presented the SkyHunter, a US-certified version of the Iron Dome.