As per reports, one of the two recently purchased Iron Dome air and missile defence batteries shall be sent to Guam by the U.S. Army. The batteries were purchased as an interim solution for cruise missile defense.
Capabilities of the system shall be put to test in the deployment, dubbed Operation Iron Island and then further training along with refining the deployment capabilities of the air defenders shall be commenced, according to a statement by the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
As per an official, the exercise shall last through November while the Iron Dome is expected to arrive in mid-October.
The official added that with the system, soldiers and equipment from the 2-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion from Fort Bliss shall also be deployed as the unit has been training on it for over a year while in order to support the mission, soldiers from the 38th ADA Brigade shall also be coming from Japan.
As per the spokesman, The exercise is focused on seeing how they integrate the Iron Dome with their existing air defence systems along with gathering data on sustainment, deployment considerations.
Iron Dome System
The Iron Dome system was originally developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries with an aim of intercepting and destroying short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres and up to 70 kilometres.
According to official statements, the system had intercepted over 400 rockets as of November 2012 while by late October 2014, around 1,200 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome systems.
Earlier, Israel’s Iron Dome was frequently in the news when more than 3,300 rockets were fired by Hamas towards Israeli cities and towns and a majority of them were stopped by the Iron Dome.
Deal with the United States
It was announced in July 2014 that Raytheon would be the major U.S. partner for the co-production of major components which are required for the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missile. Raytheon was to supply components for the same through various subcontractors.
To fill the cruise missile gap while the U.S. develops a so-called better enduring solution for countering a number of different air and missile threats, two Iron Dome systems were purchased by the U.S. Army. Parts of the system could still be incorporated into its indirect fires protection capability designed to defeat cruise missiles and drones as well as rockets, artillery and mortars, although the U.S.Army does not have an intention to purchase any more Iron Dome batteries.
As per reports, around $900 million has already been invested by the United States in Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
South Korea’s interest in the Iron Dome
On the other hand, plans to pursue a $2.6-billion interception system, similar to Israel’s Iron Dome, was approved by South Korea in June. As per a Reuters report, the system is designed to protect against North Korea’s arsenal of long-range guns and rockets.
According to official sources, the development of a “Korean-style Iron Dome” capable of defending Seoul and key facilities was talked about the previous year by the South Korean government.