Successful Iron Dome missile system interests the US Army.
Raytheon Missiles & Defence and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have entered a joint venture agreement to establish an Iron Dome production facility in the US.
The joint venture will establish the first ‘all-up-round’ – meaning the component systems are delivered completely-assembled – Iron Dome manufacturing facility outside of Israel.
The partnership, under the name Raytheon Rafael Area Protection Systems, is set to finalise a location for the site before the end of 2020.
Production of Iron Dome in the US means it can be more easily marketed to the US Department of Defence (DOD) and US allies.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense Systems vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defence business execution said: “This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the US Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defence of their service members and critical infrastructure.”
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems executive vice president for air and missile defence Brigadier General (res.) Pini Yungman said: “We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our US production.
“We have long partnered on US production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the US.”
The new facility will produce all aspects of the Iron Dome system, which is made up of the Tamir interceptor and launcher and the Skyhunter missile, a US derivative of the Tamir.
The joint venture said both the Tamir and Skyhunter are capable of intercepting ‘incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and short-range targets such as rockets, artillery, mortars and other aerial threats.’
Raytheon and Rafael have worked together on Iron Dome for over a decade.
Iron Dome has completed over 2,500 operational intercepts and is promoted as having a success rate of over 90%.
In 2019, the US Army purchased two Iron Dome batteries to fill an interim air defence capability. The two batteries are set to arrive in late 2020 and early 2021, ready for operational deployment in September and December 2021.