The Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) Aerial Defense Division has established a new Iron Dome battalion to provide an active defence response to aerial threats in Israel’s northern region.

The new aerial defence battalion is the second of its type to be established, the IAF stated.

IAF Aerial Defense Division commander brigadier general Zvika Haimovich said: "Israel's northern theatre has always been the most threatened area. The theatre changes, the threats multiply, and terrorist elements take their places in the area.

"The new Iron Dome battalion was born out of this reality, it will provide an active defence response in the northern theatre.

"The battalion will develop an expertise for combat in the northern theatre, and deepen the understanding and operational preparedness for the threats in the area.”

Prior to installation, the battalion underwent a readiness inspection and participated in the Or HaDagan exercise.

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"The Rafael Advanced Defense Systems-built weapon system has been designed to detect, assess and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars."

IAF new Iron Dome battalion commander lieutenant colonel Yoni Grinboim said: “The purpose of the exercise was to simulate the challenges we would face during wartime and, as part of it, responsibility over the Northern theatre was officially transferred to the new Iron Dome battalion.”

The Rafael Advanced Defense Systems-built weapon system has been designed to detect, assess and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars.

The system’s multi-mission launcher is capable of firing a variety of interceptor missiles, depending on the threat.

Since entering active duty in 2011, the first Iron Dome system has performed more than 1,000 interceptions, according to the IAF.

Image: The Iron Dome aerial defence battalion. Photo: courtesy of the Celia Garion / Israeli Air Force.