Why Did US Army Cancel Plans To Buy Iron Dome From Israel?

The US Army said it was cancelling the procurement of Israeli  Iron Dome missile defence system due to concerns about its compatibility with existing US technologies.

Surface to Air Missile Batteries From the Iron Dome System 

Israeli Iron Dome is a state of art technology designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from short distances. Iron Dome protects the country from terror attacks and is part of a multi-tiered missile defence system.

Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command, said they detected a number of issues — including cyber vulnerabilities and operational hurdles to integrate elements of Iron Dome with the US Army’s Integrated Battle Command System.

“It took us longer to acquire those [first] two batteries than we would have liked,” Murray told the House Armed Service tactical air and land forces subcommittee on Thursday. “We believe we cannot integrate them into our air defence system based on some interoperability challenges, some cyber challenges and some other challenges.”

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Murray, according to The Times of Israel, said that the key problem for the US military was that Israel had refused to provide the source code for the Iron Dome’s software. This, in turn, reportedly prevented the Pentagon from reprogramming it to make it compatible with the American systems.

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, the US Army had announced plans to acquire two Iron Dome batteries to provide US forces with an interim cruise missile defence capability. The Army allocated over $1 billion for the project to pluck select Iron Dome components and integrate them with the US military’s Integrated Battle Command System by 2023.

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According to critics talking to the EurAsian Times – The US Army expressed serious concern about the Iron Dome’s capability to intercept cruise missiles – which would be significant in plugging the gap in existing US missile defences. The system was designed to provide defence against artillery and cruise missile attacks but is not capable of intercepting aircraft or ballistic missiles.