The Iron Dome air-defense system. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems) Rafael Advanced Defense Systems
Iron Dome

Israel’s naval-based Iron Dome will be used to protect Israel’s gas fields and shipping lanes.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

The Israeli Navy completed tests of an upgraded Iron Dome model adapted for use at sea, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

Dubbed “Protective Dome,” the interceptors were tested against unmanned aerial drones, rockets and cruise missiles.

The system will be deployed to protect Israeli shipping lanes and natural gas fields. It cannot be deployed on gas platforms for safety reasons.

The ministry released a video showing the Iron Dome intercepting a rocket and a UAV.

The test was overseen by the Navy, the Defense Ministry’s Israel’s Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (Maf’at), Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Defense Minister Benny Gantz praised the development.

“The technology that we are developing in the multi-layered defense system of the State of Israel, allows us vital freedom of action vis-à-vis Iranian emissaries in the region and the means at their disposal, which are evolving,” said Gantz.

“We continue to be two steps ahead of them and will continue to act and upgrade our capabilities in defense and attack, in order to protect Israel’s security superiority in the region, the citizens of Israel and the Israeli economy.”

Sea-based missile defense is more technologically complex because the the computerized system must also account for the motion of the ships they are based on.

Hezbollah has previously threatened to strike Israeli gas rigs. Israel’s first sea-based Iron Dome became operational in 2017.

Israel’s three-tiered missile defense system includes the Iron Dome for short-range rockets, David’s Sling for medium-to long-range rockets and cruise missiles while the Arrow defends Israel from longer-range ballistic missiles.