The U.S. Army is set to take delivery of two Israeli-designed “Iron Dome” indirect-fire protections systems to satisfy a congressional mandate, but the technology will have to prove itself to remain in the service’s arsenal, top Army modernization officials say.
The Iron Dome Weapon System is a combat-proven system, developed by the Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to detect, identify and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars.
The Army announced its plans to purchase Iron Dome in February 2019 to comply with the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which required the service to equip ground forces with two Iron Dome Batteries by 2020.
The service is set to accept the first system in December and the second system in February, but it’s still unclear if Iron Dome will meet the Army’s need for an interim indirect fire protection capability, or IFPC. A key requirement for the system will be to demonstrate its ability to plug into the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS, that the Army has chosen to manage all of its air defense sensors and interceptor systems.
“We committed to Congress that we will expedite that as much as we possibly can, but the fact of the matter is, we don’t have an Iron Dome battery today; we haven’t even received it