US Army decides not to buy Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor system

Iron Dome in operation (File).

‘Defense News’ says the US Army chose the Dynetics Enduring
Shield instead of Iron Dome following a shoot-off between the
two missile defense systems.

The US Army has decided not to buy Israel’s Iron Dome to counter aerial threats, despite the United States military having successfully carried out a first live-fire test of the missile defense system, according to a report in Defense News.

According to the report, the US Army chose Leidos-owned Dynetics’ launcher after a shoot-off between the two systems last month at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The Dynetics system, called Enduring Shield, has 360-degree detection and can fire at multiple threats simultaneously. The system is simple to operate and can be fully integrated with the army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

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Israel’s Defense Ministry and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems told The Jerusalem Post that they would not be commenting on the Defense News report, but if confirmed, it is expected to be a significant setback for the ministry.

According to a report in Calcalist the average price of an Iron Dome system is around NIS 27 million ($8,400,000). Israel Aerospace Industries said that each system is customized according to need, and it therefore does not have a fixed price.

IAI, which manufactures the radars for Iron Dome, made a record $4.2 billion in 2020 in international sales from the multi-mission radar. Some 150 MMR radars, the brains of the system, have been sold to customers around the world, Calcalist said.

The US Army purchased two off-the-shelf batteries from Rafael in August 2019 that were delivered in late 2020. The army has since been in the process of examining and building training systems for the batteries.

The purchase of those batteries included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battle management centers and 240 interceptors.



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