The US has signed an agreement with Israel to continue provision of funding for the production of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defence system.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed last week, the US will immediately transfer around $429m to Israel for further production of Iron Dome systems and interceptors.
The agreement represents a strategic value for nations, enabling Israel to obtain valuable resources to contribute to its defence, and generating meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components for the US industry.
The agreement follows media reports that US President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget request gutted funding for the joint US-Israel missile defence programmes, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems with significant funding support from the US, the Iron Dome is a mobile air defence system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and 155mm artillery shells in all weather conditions, including fog, dust storm, low clouds and rain.
Equipped with a tracking radar, a battle management and weapons control unit and a missile firing unit, the system can simultaneously intercept multiple threats that are launched from a distance of 4km to 70km, while it is also effective against aircraft flying at high altitudes.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has to date deployed five Iron Dome batteries, which are credited to have saved countless Israeli lives during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and served as an invaluable component of Israeli missile defence.
Image: An Iron Dome CRAM launcher deployed near the town of Sderot, Israel. Photo: courtesy of NatanFlayer.