Israel Set to Unleash New and Improved Iron Dome Battery

— by Gabe Cahn

Ynet, the Jerusalem Post, and JTA all reported over the weekend that Israel’s missile defense systems are undergoing substantial improvements to better ensure the safety of Israelis.

The fifth Iron Dome battery, which features upgraded interception range and response time, successfully passed the testing phase last week. According to the Ynet article:

Since Iron Dome first became operational, in April 2011, the system has intercepted over 100 Grad and Gaza terrorists at Israel’s south.

‘This is another outstanding achievement by all those involved in the system’s upgrade,’ Defense Minister Ehud Barak said…

Iron Dome’s seventh and eights batteries will be funded mostly by US aid funds in 2013. Some $70 million have already been appropriated to the project and an additional, similar, sum is due next year.

More after the jump.
JTA also reported that:

‘The series of trials are designed to expand and improve the operational capabilities as we face an unprecedented array of threats.  The most recent trial – which was completed successfully – marks a significant upgrade in the operational capabilities of the Iron Dome system,’ according to a Defense Department statement.

Another testament to “the depth and ingenuity of the US-Israel military alliance,” is the bilateral development of the Arrow 3 missile defense system. The Jerusalem Post reported that:

Once operational, the Arrow 3 will be the most advanced missile defense system in the world, a powerful example of the fruits of the US-Israel relationship…

The Arrow 3 interceptor missile boasts twice the range of the Arrow 2, despite being significantly smaller and weighing only half as much. Costs have dropped as well, with the Arrow 3 interceptors expected to run $2.2 million a piece, about 20 percent less than the Arrow 2.

Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on National Security Advisor Tom Donilon’s Meetings with Israeli Delegation

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon hosted a delegation of senior Israeli officials on November 12 for consultations on Iran, Syria, and a range of other regional security issues.  The Israeli delegation was headed by Major General (retired) Yaakov Amidror, Chairman of Israel’s National Security Council and National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Today’s meetings were the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.

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