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Rafael C-DOME – Naval Iron Dome System – finishes test onboard Israeli Navy Sa’ar 6 Magen Class Corvette

An advanced interception test was performed on the C-DOME Naval Iron Dome System by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the Israeli Navy, and the Israel Defense Ministry. The system's transition into operational status is a crucial stage in the process of enhancing the capabilities of the corvettes.

C-DOME testing
C-DOME testing. Image: Rafael

An advanced interception test was performed on the C-DOME Naval Iron Dome System by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the Israeli Navy, and the IMDO of the Israel Defense Ministry. The C-DOME is an advanced naval configuration of the IRON DOME aerial defence system that is used by RAFAEL. It is operated from the Missile Ship (INS) ‘Oz’ that is a part of the Sa’ar 6 ‘Magen’ Class Corvette.

The system was deployed on the INS Oz corvette as part of the interception test. This corvette is the second of four advanced missile corvettes that the Israeli Navy has received over the previous two years. The system’s transition into operational status is a crucial stage in the process of enhancing the capabilities of the corvettes.

Dr. Ran Gozali, Executive Vice President and Head of RAFAEL’s Land and Naval Systems Directorate, stated that the C-DOME is the first operational naval defence solution of its kind and that the test on the Israeli Navy’s Saar 6 corvette represents a milestone in the development of the system. 

According to Moshe Patel, the chief of the IMDO inside the Israel Ministry of Defense, the C-DOME system effectively recognised threats and successfully intercepted them by firing IRON DOME interceptors from the sea. C-DOME improves operational flexibility and has been integrated into Israel’s layered missile and air defence system. C-DOME was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. The IRON DOME interception system was able to complete a number of extremely successful tests throughout the course of the past year. These tests were conducted in Israel and the United States as a part of the interception testing conducted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. The IRON DOME has been successful in accomplishing Israeli operational goals, most notably earlier this year during the Breaking Dawn mission, he said.

Iron Dome launcher and Tamir interceptor missile MRIC prototype test in the US.

The Deputy Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff of the Israeli Navy, Rear Admiral Guy Goldfarb, indicated that the Israeli Navy’s expedited operationalisation of the Sa’ar 6 corvettes is now occurring at a record pace. The implementation of the C-DOME system aboard the INS Oz corvette was responsible for the successful interception tests that were conducted. 

The Navy recently acknowledged the beginning of operationalisation of the INS “Magen” corvette, the first ship to join the Sa’ar 6 series, as well as the completion of its first operational activity, which consisted of patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zone of the State of Israel and protecting its economic and strategic assets. 

Rear Admiral Guy Goldfarb said the accomplishment was recently brought to the Navy’s attention. Due to the changes that have taken place in the sea environment, the Israeli Navy now has a greater variety of roles and operational responsibilities. The Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone and Israel’s maritime superiority will both be protected by the Sa’ar 6 corvettes, which will play a critical part in the process, he said.

C-Dome System

The Iron Dome system’s 90 per cent success rate in intercepting missile assaults during confrontations between Israel and a number of hostile groups has given it an enviable reputation. The system is not only capable of intercepting incoming threats, but it can also compute missile trajectories and disregard those that would crash harmlessly in rivers and arid regions. This approach is especially valued by specialists, as ammunition savings are a significant asset to any air defence system.

In 2014, Rafael demonstrated the C-Dome model, which is designed to defend individual ships and naval units against missile strikes. The naval version is a 10-round cluster filled with vertically launched Tamir interceptors capable of 360-degree coverage as opposed to the land version’s smaller arc.

In addition, unlike the Iron Dome, the C-Dome does not require a specialised radar system in order to function. As an alternative, it communicates with the ship’s surveillance radar. C-Dome was coupled to the Magen Adir radar, a multipurpose electronically scanned active array marine radar system, as part of a sea trial.

Israeli Sa’ar 6 corvettes to receive C-Dome missile defence system

In 2021, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) began installing weapons on new ships of the Israeli Navy. Four Sa’ar 6-class corvettes will receive new Barak MX anti-aircraft missile systems and the C-Dome anti-missile defence (ABM) system. 

Rafale Sea Breaker

German-built Sa’ar 6 corvettes arrived in Israel unarmed. The Israeli Defense Ministry plans to turn the new corvettes into floating batteries to protect the coast and facilities in the exclusive economic zone.

The ships will additionally be equipped with Sea Breaker anti-ship missiles. A characteristic of the ammo is a comprehensive database of civilian and military vessels, which enables the missile to target hostile vessels without user input.

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