New era in the production of the Israeli Iron Dome missile system is coming
WASHINGTON, TEL AVIV, (BM) – American company Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Israeli defense company Rafael have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) in the United States to produce the Iron Dome air and missile defense system, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the press service of Raytheon Technologies.
The new joint venture was named Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems (RRAPS). The site is expected to be selected by the end of the year.
“This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” Sam Denecke’s Raytheon air defense equipment and facilities.
It is assumed that the enterprise will produce both the base version of the Iron Dome with the Tamir interceptor missile and the Sky Hunter anti-aircraft guided missile, which is a variant of the Tamir developed in the USA. Raytheon said both missiles are capable of intercepting cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, artillery shells and mortar mines.
As noted in the press service, the cooperation between Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Rafael in the development of the Iron Dome has been going on for more than ten years.
“We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our U.S. production,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president for Air and Missile Defense of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. “We have long partnered on U.S. production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the U.S.”
In 2019, the US Ground Forces announced their intention to purchase two Iron Dome batteries, the signing of the corresponding contract became known in August. Both batteries are expected to be tested in the US next year and deployed in September and December 2021, respectively.
The United States have apparently been pleased with Israeli technology
Over the past 12 months, we have followed this long process of testing and the Trump administration’s choice to purchase Israeli systems.
As we reported in August last year, the contract to purchase two Iron Dome systems for the U.S. Army’s interim cruise missile defense capability has been finalized.
Even then we announced that the contract is set in stone, the Army will be able to figure out delivery schedules and details in terms of taking receipt of the systems.
The Army was shifting around its pots of funding within its Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC) program – under development to defend against rockets, artillery and mortars as well as unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles – to fill its urgent capability gap for cruise missile defense on an interim basis. Congress mandated the Army deploy two batteries by fiscal 2020 in the service’s fiscal 2019 budget.
Iron Dome could feed into an enduring capability, depending on how it performs in the interim, Youngman said during a separate interview shortly before the symposium.
“We’re conducting analysis and experimentation for enduring IFPC,” Youngman said then. “So that includes some engineering-level analysis and simulations to determine the performance of multiple options, including Iron Dome – or pieces of Iron Dome – and then how we integrate all of that into the [integrated air and missile defense] system.”
More about Iron Dome missile defense system
The Iron Dome system is an all-weather tactical missile defense system designed to protect Israeli territory from unguided rockets, artillery shells and mortar mines at a distance of 4 to 70 km, as well as to intercept aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at altitude up to 10 km.
The Iron Dome is part of Israel’s layered missile defense system and provides a close range of interception.
The system is being developed and manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Since September 2014 (after the conclusion of a contract worth $ 149.3 million), work on the Tamir interceptor missile from the Iron Dome has been carried out in cooperation with the American company Raytheon.
According to Israeli reports, as of July 2014, the cost of each launch is about $ 20,000.
The complex was adopted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 2010. The first complex was put on alert in March 2011 near the city of Beer Sheva, 35 km from the Gaza Strip. During the fighting in the summer of 2014, the eighth battery of the Iron Dome system was deployed.
In October 2014, it became known about the work on the marine version of the system, which is being carried out by specialists from Rafael Ltd. The project received the designation C-Dome.
What the Iron Dome does?
One Iron Dome battery can provide missile defense for an area of 150 sq. Km. The battery can operate autonomously or be included in an echeloned missile defense system.
Multifunctional radar ELM-2084 from Elta Systems (a division of Israel Aerospace Industries) with two-dimensional electronic scanning is equipped with an active phased antenna array (AFAR) and operates in the S-band (2-4Hz).
According to the developer, the AFAR design provides for the possibility of scaling its size by docking additional modules, which ensures the build-up of the capabilities of the entire weapon system. The station has modern means of displaying the tactical situation using high-resolution color displays, built-in diagnostics and a training complex for training personnel.
A variant of the automated workplace of the combat command and control system and control system was demonstrated in 2010. The station can be transported by C-130 aircraft.
The Tamir missile is made according to the “canard” design and has developed aerodynamic rudders, which provide active maneuvering when intercepting a target. The missile is equipped with a radar homing head and a data link receiver for receiving correction commands from the Iron Dome combat control center.
The high-explosive fragmentation warhead is equipped with a laser fuse. It is also reported that the Tamir interceptor missile is equipped with electro-optical sensors and aerodynamic rudders to ensure high maneuverability.
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