Iron Dome: US Marine Corps Test Israel’s ‘Mighty’ Air Defense System Prototype – Defense Ministry

A prototype missile defense system based on the Israeli Iron Dome technology has been successfully test-fired in the United States, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Monday.

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“US Marine Corps successfully tests Iron Dome Air Defense System. The Marine Corps’ Medium-Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) prototype successfully hit several cruise missile targets from different directions and in different trajectories during the live-fire test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico,” the ministry said on social media.

The tested prototype features the USMC Gator radar and CAC2S combat control system as well as the Iron Dome Tamir interceptor capable of intercepting cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, artillery and mortar rounds. The interceptor was developed by Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael, which was commissioned to develop and adapt the Iron Dome to the needs of the US Marine Corps, as well as to test and maintain the system.

“This test has proven the Iron Dome Tamir Interceptor and associated ground components can be integrated quickly and efficiently in any relevant defense architecture and intercept various aerial threats successfully in complex and advanced scenarios.

We look forward to further partnerships with the US Armed Forces on Air and Missile Defense,” the head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization at the Defense Ministry, Moshe Patel, was quoted as saying.

The successful test has also showcased the capability of the Rafael systems to integrate optimally with other defense systems, revealing the successful combination of the Iron Dome ground launcher, Tamir interceptor and the Marine Corps radar and combat control system, Rafael’s Executive Vice President Pinhas Yungman said, stressing that it was a “significant message” for other customers both in the United States and international market.

Ukraine Wanted Iron Dome

Israel must “get back to reality” and step up its support for Ukraine, specifically by selling it its Iron Dome air defense system, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk had said in response to the Russian invasion of the country.

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“I want the Israeli government to move away from its comfort zone and get back to reality. We need Israeli assistance … I mean that we need the military-technical support; we need Iron Dome,” Korniychuk told Israeli media.

He stressed that Ukraine does not “need a donation; we want to buy it.”

The ambassador said he was frustrated by the little attention given to the Ukraine conflict in Israeli news, which he believes reflects the Israeli government’. The Jerusalem Post’s source told it that Israel was unlikely to sell the weapon to Ukraine, or any other country, due to international defense export obligations.

Earlier in June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Kiev would obtain a modern air defense system, which would be “more effective than the Iron Dome,” adding that the Israeli air defense system is not suitable for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov also said that Kiev did not need Israel’s Iron Dome. The Defense Minister said that the Israeli systems could not protect the country against Russian missiles.

Reznikov went so far as to say that he visited Israel and spoke with its manufacturers. Iron Dome was created to protect against low-speed, low-impact missiles created in garages. The defense system is useless against ballistic missiles.

Iron Dome is a joint Israeli-US third venture that cannot be sold to a party without the consent of both developer countries. In spring 2021, the Ukrainian government officially appealed to the administration of US President Joe Biden, requesting to transfer Patriot missiles and the Iron Dome missile defense system to Ukraine.