Jul 17, 2014

Israel Readies First US Co-Production Order for Iron Dome

Israel fielded its seventh Iron Dome intercepting battery under fire last week in an operational debut that destroyed five Gaza-launched rockets headed for Tel Aviv.
The July 10 interception over Tel Aviv by Israel’s Iron Dome battery averted strategic tailwind for Hamas, which claimed credit for the attack that could have triggered a full-scale Israeli invasion of Gaza.
That critical interception and 100 others scored by Iron Dome since the July 7 start of Operation Protective Edge highlights the “strategic significance” of active defenses in Israel’s battle against more than 10,000 Gaza-based rockets threatening nearly three quarters of the country.
As of press time on July 11, no Israelis had been killed in more than 400 Gaza-launched rocket attacks. In contrast, Israeli air, land and sea-based strikes against more than 1,100 targets throughout the strip killed nearly 100 uninvolved Palestinians, most of them women and children.
As Rafael works on the eighth battery in parallel to fast-tracked production of intercepting missiles, it is preparing to receive the first Defense Ministry procurement contract for US-based builds in support of Iron Dome.
The firm recently finalized an agreement making Raytheon its US partner in co-production of major components for the Iron Dome’s Tamir intercepting missile.
The US firm will supply components through various subcontractors.
US investment in Iron Dome was nearly $900 million.

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