Israeli C-DOME’s combat success – Red Sea target neutralized

Recently, it has been revealed that the Israeli Navy has put the so-called Naval Iron Dome – C-DOME, into combat for the first time. This information is substantiated by various sources as well as the manufacturer of the C-DOME system, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The manufacturer has posted a photo on their Twitter account showing a C-DOME missile being fired, boldly declaring it as “Combat Proven”. 

C-DOME, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is essentially the naval version of the Iron Dome system. This advanced point defense setup is specifically designed with maritime vessels in mind. So, what’s its primary purpose? Its main objective is to provide effective protection against a broad range of threats such as rockets, artillery, mortars, and other airborne risks that sea-based vessels might encounter.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. The technical capabilities of the C-DOME are nothing short of impressive. This ingenious system works with a special type of interceptor that carries a unique warhead. It detonates and takes down any target that comes within its proximity in the air. But that’s not all – it boasts a radar system that can simultaneously track multiple targets, making it adept at handling high saturation attacks. Plus, its vertical launch capability paves the way for 360-degree protective coverage. 

The C-DOME system, equipped with Israel’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes, is a game-changer in defense technology. These corvettes, originally crafted by Germany, have been specifically engineered to integrate the C-DOME system, along with a host of other cutting-edge defenses. The deployment of the C-DOME on these vessels considerably escalates their defensive prowess, providing them with an effective barrier against a spectrum of airborne dangers.

One of the most notable characteristics of the C-DOME is its impressive operational range. The system’s ability to counter threats within a sweeping radius of up to 250 kilometers ensures threats are neutralized long before they could pose any substantial threat to the vessel. 

The explosive at the heart of the C-DOME system is a specialized blast fragmentation warhead. When activated, it discharges a deadly pattern of fragments capable of neutralizing a wide range of threats. This renders the C-DOME an extraordinarily effective defense system for any maritime vessel. 

Israeli C-DOME's combat success - Red Sea target neutralized
Photo credit: IDF Navy

The inaugural operational deployment of C-DOME by the Israeli Navy has been officially verified by the IDF spokesperson, who refrained from detailing exactly what the “suspicious target” was that triggered the system to spring into action.

“In response to alarms set off in the Eilat region due to an enemy aircraft intrusion, IDF marine forces located a suspicious aerial target infiltrating Israeli airspace,” the IDF solemnly declared in an early Tuesday press release. “The C-Dome naval defense system was successfully able to intercept and neutralize the target,” the statement further elucidated. Based on reports from Israeli realms, the interception operation resulted in neither casualties nor damage. 

Later in the month, there’s a buzz of expectation from local quarters for an official revelation of the target that was brought down by the Israeli system. This event represents a significant breakthrough for Israel and is especially advantageous for the manufacturers of the C-DOME. Based on past experience, there’s a pattern where Israel quickly secures export contracts for its weapon systems following their “debut performance” in a war scenario. Experts in the region anticipate a similar trajectory for the C-DOME system.

Israeli C-DOME's combat success - Red Sea target neutralized - Sa'ar 6
Photo by Menahem Kahana

Let’s also consider the Sa’ar 6-class corvettes, equipped with the C-DOME anti-aircraft system. Crafted by the German shipyard, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems [TKMS], they proudly serve the Israeli Navy. Their mission portfolio is vast, ranging from offshore asset protection and naval blockade maintenance to surface warfare. 

Measuring 90 meters long with an approximate beam of 13 meters, these warships boast a full-load displacement of close to 1,900 tons. Thanks to their combined diesel and diesel [CODAD] propulsion systems, they can reach impressive speeds of nearly 26 knots. 

The Sa’ar 6-class corvettes are truly a technical marvel. Outfitted with state-of-the-art radar and sonar systems, robust electronic warfare suites, and efficient command and control systems, they are well-equipped to face any challenge. Furthermore, they feature a flight deck and a hangar that comfortably accommodates a SH-60 or a helicopter of similar size.

Israeli C-DOME's combat success - Red Sea target neutralized
Photo credit: IDF

Bringing a strong defense to the sea, the Sa’ar 6-class corvettes are a virtual fortress on water. Their arsenal boasts a 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid gun, twin Typhoon Weapon Stations, space for 32 vertical launch cells equipped for Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles, 16 swift anti-ship missiles, a pair of 324mm torpedo tubes specifically for lightweight Mk54 torpedoes, and duo C-Dome point defense systems.  

In the realm of modern naval technology, the Sa’ar 6-class corvettes shine. Built to withstand demanding maritime conditions, these vessels boast a high degree of automation and can effectively operate in sync with other naval units. Equipped with a superior sensor suite and potent weapon systems, they can detect and counter diverse threats. Their robust construction only adds another layer of survivability and endurance.

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