US inks deal to purchase Iron Dome missile systems from Israel
Story Code : 810421
America’s military magazine, Defense News, said in a report on Tuesday that the US Defense Department had finalized a deal to buy two batteries of the Israeli-made Iron Dome missile system for its interim cruise missile defense capability.
The report said the contract was signed in the last few weeks and that Israel and the US are currently in talks on transferring the systems to America.
“Now 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 military magazine said.
Defense News added that the Israeli-made Iron Dome is meant as an interim missile defense solution for the US but it could turn into a permanent one depending on its performance in the field.
The purchase deal, initially announced earlier in the year, has been hailed as historic, marking the first time Israel has sold a standalone weapons system to Washington.
“A great achievement for Israel, this is yet another expression of the strengthening of our strong alliance with the US,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in February.
The Iron Dome has been co-developed by American company Raytheon and Israeli defense firm Rafael. It is partly manufactured in the United States.
The Iron Dome is claimed to be capable of detecting, assessing and intercepting a variety of shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars.
The system was originally developed to counter small rockets that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups fired into Israeli occupied territories in retaliation for the regime's crimes against Palestinians.
The Iron Dome has proven largely ineffective in serving that purpose.