The United States is eyeing to purchase Israeli Iron Dome missile defense systems.
The decision was made as part of an agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense to fill its short-term needs for an Indirect Fire Protection Capability.
"The Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed US military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats," read a statement by the US Ministry of Defense released Wednesday.
"While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the US Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term IFPC (Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment) solution," the statement said.
The US military decided to acquire the Iron Dome "for immediate needs of the US army," Haaretz quoted a statement released by Israeli MoD.
The US Army-owned THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system can intercept and destroy short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase; but the Army does not have any short-range air defense solutions.
The US conducted SHORAD tests in New Mexico last September before it zeroed in on the Iron Dome.
The Israeli Dome was chosen among three other potential options- which included systems by Boeing and General Dynamics Land Systems specially-armed Stryker vehicles, The Jerusalem Post reported.
In 2010, Singapore was reportedly planning to buy the system and in December 2016 Azerbaijans Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov said his country had reached a decision to buy it, Haaretz reported.
The Iron Dome is developed by Israeli firm Rafael and some US manufacturers like Raytheon provide parts for interceptors used in the system.
The defense system works by tracking incoming short-range projectiles by radar, then analyses data about the likely impact zone - before assessing whether to provide co-ordinates to a missile firing unit to intercept. It targets incoming rockets and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them in the air. Each battery has a firing-control radar to identify targets. The defense system also has a portable missile launcher and is easily transportable, with just a few hours needed to relocate and set up.
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