Iron Dome. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Iron Dome.

“Collaboration on defense programs like Iron Dome keeps Americans and Israelis safe, grows our economy, and creates American jobs,” AIPAC said in a tweet.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The American defense and technology company Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced Tuesday a joint venture to manufacture the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the United States.

The new partnership will be known as Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems and expects to finalize the location of the joint facility by the end of the year, Rafael tweeted. The facility will produce Iron Dome systems including the Tamir interceptor and launcher and the SkyHunter missile, the American version of the Tamir.

“Rafael and Raytheon have partnered for over a decade on Iron Dome, the worlds most used missile defense system with over 2,500 operational interceptions and higher than 90% success rate,” Rafael said.

The new facility will also allow the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe to obtain the Iron Dome system for the defense of their service members and critical infrastructure, Defense Update reported.

“We have long partnered on U.S. production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the U.S.,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president for Air and Missile Defense of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Confronting Threats to the US Around the Globe

Having a production facility in the U.S. will likely allow the new company to customize Iron Dome to meet specific threats facing American interests around the globe.

“Collaboration on lifesaving defense programs like Iron Dome keeps Americans and Israelis safe, grows our economy, and creates American jobs,” AIPAC said in a tweet.

First deployed in 2011, the Iron Dome is seen as the pinnacle of Israeli defense innovation and has successfully shot down over 2,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians by terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon, and more recently rockets fired from Syria.

The Iron Dome system has a powerful radar that tracks incoming rocket trajectories, allowing rockets to explode in open, unpopulated areas. If a populated or sensitive target will be hit, it launces interceptor rockets.

Some ten Iron Dome batteries have been deployed around Israel. Each consists of three or four stationary launchers with 20 Tamir missiles and a detection radar. The batteries are strategically located to protect populated areas.

Last year the U.S. Army signed a deal to buy two Iron Dome batteries which are expected to begin shipping by the end of 2020.

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