Israel Air Force to Deploy an Upgraded Iron-Dome System ‘Within Weeks’

The first upgraded Iron Dome unit is scheduled for delivery to the Israel Air Force 'within weeks', following a successful series of intercepts where the system demonstrated the enhanced capabilities against advanced threats.

The first upgraded Iron Dome unit is scheduled for delivery to the Israel Air Force ‘within weeks’, following a successful series of intercepts where the system demonstrated the enhanced capabilities against advanced threats. Photo: Shaul Golan via RAFAEL

The Defense Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Defense successfully completed trials testing the upgraded operational capability of the ‘Iron Dome’ system.  In the past few days, the Israel’s Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) has been carrying out a series of intercept trials with the upgraded system where the enhanced system successfully met the design goals. These trials are designed to expand and improve the operational capabilities of the system to face more advanced threats. These trials are part of a wider program to develop and upgrade the ‘Iron Dome’ system. Based on the successful trials, MOD plans to deliver the fifth operational ‘Iron Dome’ battery ‘within weeks’. According to the MOD, this unit will be the first upgraded ‘Iron Dome’ battery in the IAF. Most upgrades will also be retrofitted to the four operational units. The fifth and sixth units are part of the second production batch of four Iron Dome units funded by the US DoD in May 2011.

RAFAEL, the system developer and integrator, has implemented improvements and modifications to operational systems since the first deployments of the systems in March 2011. Software ‘patches’ changes are introduced frequently after combat engagements, implementing necessary improvements where required. More comprehensive software upgrades are also implemented on a periodical basis to keep the system updated. The current ‘Block Upgrade’ enabled the developers to implement more robust upgrades enhancing the system based on more comprehensive and thoroughly tested upgrade cycle. Major contributors to the system’s enhanced engagement capabilities are the improved radar developed by IAI/Elta Systems and battle management system developed by mPrest.

IMDO – also known as ‘Homa’ – is part of the Defense Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Defense, and is responsible for the multi-level missile defense systems. These include the ‘Iron Dome’ counter Rocket, Artillery and Missile (C-RAM) system and ballistic missile interceptor system ‘Arrow 2′,  both already operational, and ‘David’s Sling’ (also dubbed ‘Magic Wand’) and ‘Arrow 3′ currently in various phases of developmental testing. Both are scheduled to undergo comprehensive integration testing in the near future.

 

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