The Israeli Air Force is training a new batallion of air-defence troops to operate its new anti-missile system, Iron Drome.

Iron Dome, being developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, will counter rockets and 155mm shells at a range of between three and 43 miles.

The new system underwent its first full interception trials by shooting down three Grad rockets during live-fire tests on 15–16 July 2009, marking the conclusion of its initial development phase.

Iron Dome will be supported by the David’s Sling system currently being developed by Israel’s Rafael armaments company and US company Raytheon.

The Israelis did not possess any defence system for countering the Iranian Grads and the Qassams in the past.

Israel plans to deploy a more advanced system, Magic Wand in 2012–13.