Iron Dome to be Produced in the United States
3 August, 2020
Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Israel's RAFAEL team to establish U.S.-based Iron Dome Weapon System production facility. Iron Dome is the world's most-used missile defense system
Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems have signed a joint venture to establish an Iron Dome Weapon System production facility in the US. The new partnership, Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems, anticipates finalizing a site location before the end of the year.
“This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies to obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” said Raytheon Missiles & Defense Systems’ Sam Deneke, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense business execution.
The new facility will produce both the Iron Dome Weapon System, which consists of the Tamir interceptor and launcher, and the SkyHunter missile, a U.S. derivative of Tamir. Both Tamir and SkyHunter intercept incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and short-range targets such as rockets, artillery, mortars and other aerial threats.
2,500 successful operational intercepts
Iron Dome is considered the world’s most-used missile defense system with more than 2,500 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90 percent – since being fielded in 2011. Today, 10 Iron Dome batteries protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel, with each battery comprising 3-4 stationary launchers, 20 Tamir missiles and a radar.
Iron Dome’s Tamir missile knocks down incoming threats launched from ranges of 4-70 km. Tamir missiles feature electro-optical sensors and steering fins with proximity fuze blast warheads. Raytheon and RAFAEL have teamed for over a decade on Iron Dome. In 2019, the U.S. Army announced its intent to buy two Iron Dome batteries to fill a need for an interim capability.
Given interest by the U.S. and several other nations, Raytheon has debuted the SkyHunter system in cooperation with Rafael. Based on Iron Dome, SkyHunter can be produced in the United States to expand availability and capacity for the U.S. and its allies. These systems protect at the lowest layer. Raytheon is also cooperating with Rafael on the David’s Sling System, which defends at higher layers.