Israel Air Force IAF creates second battalion of Iron Dome air defense system

Last week, Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) has officialy cretaed a new Iron Dome battalion to increase aur defense against aerial threats in Israel’s northern region. This is the second battalion created by the Isreali armed forces using Iron Dome short-range air defense system.

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Israeli soldiers of the new second battalion of Iron Dome air defense system. (Picture IAF)

This new battalion will be specialize in the Northern theatre and will lead the IAF’s first aerial defense naval division. The battalion specializes in aerial threats in Israel's northern theatre, while operating the naval “Iron Dome” variant.

"Israel's northern theatre has always been the most threatened area. The theatre changes, the threats multiply and terrorist elements take their places in the area", declared Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, Commander of the Aerial Defense Division. "The new ‘Iron Dome’ battalion was born out of this reality, it will provide an active defense response in the northern theatre. The battalion will develop an expertise for combat in the northern theatre, and deepen the understanding and operational preparedness for the threats in the area".

Lt. Col. Yoni Grinboim, the new battalion’s commander, added: "The reality in our environment and our enemies' continually progressing power buildup, create new threats which require creative thinking, quick response expertise and flexibility. The battalion’s establishment process is a significant operational milestone in the protection of the state of Israel. The new battalion will perform a distinctive mission in the Aerial Defense Division – participation in the protection of Israel's maritime space alongside the navy".

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Iron Dome battery in Ashkelon which intercepted approximately 8 rockets and Grad missiles launched from the Gaza Strip.

The "Iron Dome" Aerial Defense System has thousands of available missiles, in larger quantities than other weapon systems. The system provides an effective response to a wide array of threats and has performed over 1,000 interceptions since entering active duty in 2011. "The new division was established following the understanding that we need more available ‘Iron Dome’ batteries. We perform hundreds of interceptions every time the situation escalates”, added Maj. Itamar Abu, Head of the “Iron Dome” Department.

A week before the battalion’s establishment ceremony and the announcements of its operational status, it underwent a readiness inspection which was combined with its participation in the “Or HaDagan” exercise - a milestone in its establishment process. “The purpose of the exercise was to simulate the challenges we would face during wartime and as part of it responsibility over the Northern theatre was officially transferred to the new ‘Iron Dome' battalion”, explained Lt. Col. Grinboim

After successfully passing the readiness inspection, the battalion begins its active duty. “The establishment represents the IAF’s values and reflects mission orientation, fighting spirit and cohesiveness”, concluded Lt. Col. Grinboim. “This is an important mission and a national responsibility”.