The Israel Ministry of Defence said it has tested an upgraded version of the Iron Dome air defense system.
“The Israel Missile Defense Organization in the MOD and Rafael have completed a successful series of flight tests of a new and upgraded version of the Iron Dome. The test simulated advanced threats which it may face during times of conflict – whether on land or in the sea,” the MoD tweeted Monday.
The more-advanced model of the Iron Dome is due to be installed on the Israeli Navy’s new Sa’ar-6 corvettes, which are tasked with guarding the natural gas platforms off Israel’s coast as well as its shipping lanes.
“The new and upgraded version of the Iron Dome is expected to be delivered to the Israeli Air Force for operational use,” the ministry said.
Though Iron Dome batteries will be located on Israeli Navy ships, they will be operated by air force troops.
In a video released by the ministry (above), the Iron Dome was seen intercepting a small unmanned aerial vehicle during the exercise. The ministry refused to comment further on the nature of the targets the Iron Dome was pitted against and on many other details about the trials.
The tests were conducted on land in central Israel in the direction of the sea, with representatives from the Israeli Air Force’s Air Defense Command and the navy taking part.
“During the trial, a number of scenarios of future threats the system is likely to encounter during a conflict on land and at sea were simulated,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
During live-fire interception tests in December, the Iron Dome hit a cruise missile for the first time. The tests included an advanced version of the David’s Sling weapon system.
Together, David's Sling and Iron Dome make up two layers of Israel's multi-tiered defense array, which also includes the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 systems. The Arrow system is the first operational missile defense system specifically designed and built to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles. The Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4-70 km away. It now includes cruise missiles and drones. David’s Sling shoots down medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired at ranges from 40-300 km.