Israel had been struggling to sell the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system abroad, but the Israel Defense website revealed on Sunday that a major purchaser has been found: the United States.
Apparently the US Army will acquire one Iron Dome battery, and based on tests it will conduct on the system decide whether or not to purchase more units of the Israeli defense system that reportedly boasted a 90% hit rate in Operation Protective Edge.
Israel Defense notes that at the beginning of Iron Dome’s development the US Army didn’t have much confidence in the system, which is why it was funded with a special budget and not the ordinary annual US defense budget that is allocated for other anti-missile systems such as the Arrow.
Having seen the system proven in war, the US now apparently is considering deploying it to defend military establishments and US soldiers around the world, as its short-range missile defense capability is not in great demand in America.
Recently cooperation was agreed upon between the Israeli defense company Rafael which developed Iron Dome and the American company Raytheon, by which they will develop Iron Dome together on American soil.
By doing so, Iron Dome may be included in the “normal” defense budget for Israel, which requires roughly 75% of Israel’s defense spending to be of American-made military hardware. It also will allow Israel and the US to offer the system for sale to several other countries, such as Poland, Ukraine and South Korea. Read more at Arutz Sheva and Israel Defense.