By D. Bender
The Israeli high-tech arms manufacturer, Rafael, is set to unveil the maritime version of a hugely successful anti-missile interceptor at this week’s prestigious Euronaval trade show in Paris, which opens Monday.
“The C-Dome interceptor is extremely agile, with a high rate-of-turn that enables interception of even the most maneuverable targets,” according to Rafael, Defense News said.
Iron Dome’s radar-guided Tamir interceptors downed over 750 of the over 4,000 mortar rounds and short and medium-range Kassam, Grad, and M-75 rockets Palestinian terrorists fired at populated areas within Israel during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge, according to the IDF.
Up to 10 of the missiles can fit into one firing container. The system, unlike the land-based version, utilizes the ship’s own defensive radar.
Rafael officials said the Israeli navy is among potential users.
Uzi Rubin, who headed the Israel Missile Defense Organization, told Defense News that he was a staunch supporter of the seaborne version of Iron Dome.
“There’s no reason why its unprecedented, combat validated capabilities should not be leveraged for intercepts at sea,” he said.
On October 13, it was revealed by Israel’s Ch. 2 News that the Israel navy had held a trial of the similar Barak 8 sea-to-air missile, aimed to hit and destroy a Russian Yakhont anti-ship cruise missile.
The Yakhont flies at close to the speed of sound close to sea-level, making it very hard to hit; Israeli defense sources have said the weapon threatens Israel’s offshore oil and gas drilling rigs.
In July of 2013, the Israeli military allegedly destroyed a warehouse in Syria which contained the Russian weapons, although it is unclear if all the munitions were destroyed.
During the war against Hezbollah in 2006, a Yakhont hit the INS Hanit, killing four crewmembers.