Israel qualifies second Iron Dome battery

15 December 2015 (Last Updated December 15th, 2015 07:35)

The Israel Air Force (IAF) has qualified a second Iron Dome interception system battery, following a training and qualification process.

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The Israel Air Force (IAF) has qualified a second Iron Dome interception system battery, following a training and qualification process.

The second reserve is the first battery to meet the new system upgrade with a new software block, and will be followed by the remaining Iron Dome batteries.

All Iron Dome system parts will be upgraded to the new block by May 2016.

Iron Dome is a mobile air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries. It can counter rocket threats up to 70km away.

Israel upgraded the Iron Dome in July, but did not reveal many details.

Aerial Defense Division commander Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich said: "In another world, we could have postponed the system upgrade to a year from now, but our enemies are working, so we must continue to better our readiness.

"In another world, we could have postponed the system upgrade to a year from now, but our enemies are working, so we must continue to better our readiness."

"The system has changed and progressed in its ability to deal with double the targets and can deal with multiple aerial defense missions".

The second battery operated during the Operation Protective Edge in 2014, without undergoing an organised training session. The system intercepted 700 rockets during the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip during that period.

The induction of the second battery comes amid renewed tensions in the Gaza Strip, where the IAF struck two Hamas terrorist sites in the central and northern Gaza Strip on Monday.

The attack was in response to a rocket hit by the Hamas in southern Israel.


Image: Iron Dome underwent an upgrade in July. Photo: courtesy of Israel Air Force.