Two unnamed Asian countries have expressed their intention to purchase Rafael's Iron Dome system, which provides protection against short-range artillery rockets, while the USA has also shown interest in possibly using the design in Afghanistan.

Rafael performed a full-scale test of the Iron Dome system earlier this month, during which it succeeded in intercepting salvoes of rockets from different types, and of ignoring those that were not on a "kill trajectory".

 Iron Dome 1 - Rafael

Iron Dome 2 - Rafael

Both images © Rafael

Developed in record time to answer the threat posed by rockets being launched into Israel from the Gaza strip and Lebanon, the mobile defence system can also be used to counter incoming artillery shells.

The Iron Dome system was designed to avoid collateral damage caused by falling debris, with this achieved by detonating the target warhead outside the defended area. Its main components include a tracking radar, a battle management and weapons control unit, and a missile firing unit. Equipped with a special warhead, each interceptor can detonate threats from a range of up to 70km (38nm) .

The Israeli air force will receive its first Iron Dome battery in mid-year, and this will be followed by full-scale deployment of the system.

Source: Flight International