USMC downed several missiles over New Mexico using Iron Dome

WASHINGTON — The US Marine Corps successfully shot down several cruise missiles coming from different directions and orbits with the Iron Dome air defense system during a combat firing test conducted at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico as part of tests of the anti-aircraft system mid-range defense.

USMC shot down several missiles over New Mexico using Iron Dome
Photo credit: IDF

“This test proves that we now have the right capability,” said Marine Corps Program Manager Don Kelly, analyzing the tests.

Speaking about the firing test, Moshe Patel, director of the Israel Defense Ministry’s Missile Defense Organization, said: “This test proved that Iron Dome and its associated ground components can be quickly and effectively integrated into any defense architecture and successfully intercept various air threats in complex and advanced environments. We look forward to furthering partnerships with the U.S. military.”

Iron Dome in the USA

The Israel Missile Defense Organization [IMDO], under the Directorate of Defense Research and Development [DDR&D] of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, has delivered the second battery of the Iron Dome defense system ordered in January 2021 to the US Army.

The U.S. Army will Test the Israeli Iron Dome Defence System
Israeli Defence System – Iron Dome | Photo credit: Rafael

The statement made on the official Twitter account of the Israeli Ministry of Defense stated that the Iron Dome batteries manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will be used in the defense of US troops against various ballistic and aerial threats.

In August 2019, an agreement was signed between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense. Under the signed $300 million deal, Israel will supply two Iron Dome systems to the US military. The first shipment of Iron Dome was made in September, and the delivered system is in the process of being deployed in the US. These batteries will be used to protect US troops against various ballistic and aerial threats.

Principle of operation of the Iron Dome

The range of the anti-missile system is small – from 4 to 70 km. It has two central bodies – radar and interceptor. Interconnected in an invisible electronic connection, they are simply unique in their work.

In addition to detecting an enemy missile, the Iron Dome radar must also calculate its estimated trajectory using a system of complex algorithms. This radar is automatic and is designed as follows – if it detects a foreign body [missile] fired at Israel, it is automatically activated. Suppose the calculations of the trajectory of the enemy missile show that it will fall into the sea or an empty, uninhabited field. In that case, the radar instructs the interceptor not to launch an intercepting rocket.

That's why the Iron Dome missile system is so effective
Photo credit: Wikipedia

If the threat directs at a settlement, the interceptor fires a Tamir missile. This missile is a “smart” missile – small in size but can change its trajectory in flight depending on the target or change the calculations by radar.

This missile has a fuse. When Tamir reaches the location set by the radar to intercept the enemy missile, the fuse releases a charge that explodes and humiliates the enemy missile. In this way, only debris falls on the ground, not the explosive charge from Tamir or the enemy missile. If Tamir misses the target, the rocket explodes itself.

Iron Dome is a very mobile system. All this means that several batteries from the Iron Dome missile system can be moved quickly, easily, and without problems over long distances.

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