The Iron Dome defense system is lauded a success by all, and in Wednesday’s 8 Cheshvan 5773 day of rocket fire, the system downed eight katyusha rockets heading to major population centers.
There are presently six Iron Dome systems manufactured in Israel, four of which are operational. The two remaining are in final stages of production and should be up and running in 2013.
Due to the fact there are only a few operational units, when rocket fire escalates as was the case Wednesday; the air force is compelled to reposition the units to achieve maximum coverage. The experts believe 13-15 missile batteries are required to adequately provide national coverage without moving units around. Last summer, the US Congress approved $680 million in finding to purchase six additional units, which will result in nationwide coverage. The allocation will be handed over to Israel in 2013-2015. Seventy million dollars arrived this year and an additional $210 million is expected in 2013.
The engineers at Raphael explain that at present, no timetable has been set for the construction of the new units, adding the process takes over a year from start to finish.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)