A new maritime version of the Iron Dome missile defense system has been declared operational by the IDF following months of testing.
“Today, the Naval ‘Iron Dome’ Aerial Defense System was qualified for operational use. This innovation will help protect Israel’s strategic assets at sea and naval troops operating in the area,” the IDF said in a statement.
According to the IDF, the new Iron Dome system was created to defend Israel’s maritime economic zone, including protecting gas drilling rigs that had been previously targeted by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The Iron Dome battery has been installed aboard Israel’s Sa’ar 5-class INS Lahav corvette ships.
The IDF said that the system successfully intercepted single rocket launches as well as barrages of projectiles in testing.
The new naval Iron Dome system is synced with radar aboard the INS Lahav as well as detection systems on the coast. The system, which was created to bridge an operational gap during the next few years until the arrival of new defensive naval ships from Germany, will be operated by a new Iron Dome battalion that was formed in September.