- Iron Dome missile has high maneuverability and is also equipped with electro-optic sensor
- The Iron Dome system is expected to arrive in mid-October and the exercise will continue till November
- The Iron Dome performed brilliantly during the Israel-Palestine conflict in May
The Joe Biden government recently purchased two Iron Dome missile defense systems from Israel after being requested by the US Congress. One of them will be stationed in Guam. Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in association with Israel Aerospace Industries, the Iron Dome is a counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) system. The system consists of several launch units, each loaded with approximately 20 interceptors. Including fast automatics, allied radar and a combat management and control unit. It is designed in such a way that it can intercept short-range rockets as well as 150 mm artillery shells with a range of up to 70 km.
WATCH as the Iron Dome Aerial Defense System intercepts rockets over southern Israel: pic.twitter.com/xUz3bMuTzz
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 12, 2021
Iron Dome’s spectacular performance
The Iron Dome became widely discussed in May after its spectacular performance during the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas had fired hundreds of rockets at Israel and that more than 90 percent of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
Detection and tracking radar is one of its major features. It consists of a battle management and weapons control system (BMC), and a missile-firing unit (MFU). The radar system is developed by the Israeli defense company Elta and the control system is developed by the Israeli software company Emprest Systems, which collaborated with Rafale.
Due to the large number of steering fins, the Iron Dome missile has high maneuverability and is also equipped with electro-optic sensors. It is capable of adapting to rapidly evolving threats and can counter multiple threats at the same time.
Once the Iron Dome locates and identifies a rocket, the system’s radar monitors the rocket’s path. Based on the information provided by the radar, the system’s BMC analyzes the hazard path and then calculates the likely point of contact.
If the calculated path of the rocket poses a real threat, a command is issued to launch an interceptor against the threat. The rocket is then detonated by the interceptor at a neutral location.
Since Hamas fired a large number of rockets at Israel, it was impossible for the Iron Dome to stop them all, and some rockets even landed in some urban areas of the country.
Nevertheless, the interception was described by many experts as “extraordinary”. The Israelis revered the Iron Dome as ‘God’s grace’ for all its successful obstructions.
what is America’s plan
According to a statement issued by the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) on October 7, the US military will deploy one of its Iron Dome defense systems at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.
Codenamed ‘Operation Iron Island’, this deployment is expected to evaluate the capabilities of this air defense system, train and improve the capabilities of the air guards, the statement further said.
The deployment will also meet the requirement of the National Defense Authorization Act of fiscal 2019, which mandated that an Iron Dome battery be deployed in an operational theater by 2021.
The US Army, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and RAFAEL have successfully completed a live fire test of the first US Army Iron Dome Defense System (IDDS-A) Battery, which the US acquired from Israel. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/DwWfcWYha4
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) August 23, 2021
According to an army spokesperson, the Iron Dome system is expected to arrive in mid-October and the exercise will continue till November. This “temporary, experimental deployment” is being overseen by the 94th AAMDC at Anderson Air Force Base.
The system is being deployed by 2-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion from Fort Bliss, Texas. This unit is undergoing training on Iron Dome air defense system for almost a year. Apart from these, this mission is also going to be supported by the soldiers of 38th ADA Brigade who are coming from Japan.
An army spokesman said the exercise is “to collect data on sustainability, deployment considerations, and in terms of how we integrate Iron Dome with our existing air defense systems, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Battery that has been deployed in Guam since 2013.” has been deployed”.
The US purchased the Iron Dome battery to meet a cruise missile shortage and, in the meantime, it is developing a sustainable solution to counter a variety of air and missile threats.