The U.S. Army announced today that it has activated two air-defense batteries at Fort Bliss, Texas that will test the Israeli-designed Iron Dome system to see if it can be plugged into the service’s air and missile defense network.
Designed by Rafael Advanced Defense System Limited, the combat-proven Iron Dome features the Tamir interceptor missile, produced by Raytheon. The system is designed to track and destroy enemy missiles and other threats launched from up to 40 miles away.
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 activation of the Iron Dome batteries at Bliss provides the Army with an interim cruise missile defense capability to protect critical fixed and semi-fixed facilities from multiple air and missile threats, according to an Army release.
It’s still not certain whether Iron Dome will meet the Army’s needs, modernization officials have said. The system will have to demonstrate its ability to plug into the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS, that the service has chosen to manage all of its air defense sensors and interceptor systems.
Gen. John “Mike” Murray, commander of Army Futures Command, told reporters in late May that the