Tuesday, September 27, 2022

C-Dome: Israeli Defense Forces Successfully Test Naval Version Of Iron Dome Missile Defense System – IDF

The Israeli Defense Forces said on Monday that it had successfully tested the C-Dome – the naval configuration of the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The C-Dome system, designed to intercept advanced threats, was developed by the army jointly with the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Israeli-based defense company Rafael.

“Israel has successfully completed the first series of live-fire tests of the ‘C-Dome’—an advanced naval configuration of the Iron Dome Aerial Defense System—aboard the Israeli Navy Ship Sa’ar 6 ‘Magen’ Class Corvette,” the IDF tweeted.

The ‘C-Dome’ was developed by the Israel Missile Defense Organization in the Directorate for Defense R&D of @Israel_MoD together with the IDF & @RafaelDefense. It joins several advanced systems in Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array, incl. the Arrow & David’s Sling.

The series of tests simulated a number of advanced threats including rocket fire, cruise missiles & UAVs, which the ‘C-Dome’ is designed to successfully intercept. This live-fire test is an important milestone and demonstrates the operational capability of the Israeli Navy to defend the strategic assets and vital interests of the State of Israel against current and evolving threats.

iron-dome
Israel successfully completed the first series of live-fire tests of the ‘C-Dome’ – Via IDF

The tests included rocket fire, attacks of cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, it added in a follow-up tweet. C-Dome will be integrated into the Israeli air defense system.

“This live-fire test is an important milestone and demonstrates the operational capability of the Israeli Navy to defend the strategic assets and vital interests of the State of Israel against current and evolving threats,” the IDF tweeted.

Israel obtained four Sa’ar 6 warships, considered to be vital pillars in the country’s maritime protection of its waters and gas resources in the sea, from Germany, where the vessels were built, over the past several years.

Iron Dome

Iron Dome is part of a future multi-tier missile defense system that Israel is developing, which includes Arrow 2, Arrow 3, Iron Beam, Barak 8 and David’s Sling.

The Iron Dome has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, designed to intercept short-range rockets and even small artillery shells fired from as close as 4 kilometers to 70 kilometers away.

The system has been so successful that it has been able to intercept more than 90% of rockets fired by militants over the Israeli population. The system is capable of intercepting small artillery projectiles with such precision, its efficiency against conventional manned and unmanned aircraft including fighter jets and UAVs could be even greater.

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File Image: Naftali Bennett and Vladimir Putin

The typical air defense missile battery consists of a radar unit, missile control unit, and several launchers, all located at the same site. On the other hand, Iron Dome is built to deploy in a scattered pattern.

Each launcher, containing 20 interceptors, is independently deployed and operated remotely via a secure wireless connection, with each Iron Dome battery being capable of protecting an urban area of approximately 150 sq km.

Iron Dome’s Breathtaking Performance

The Iron Dome is widely known for its astonishing performance during the latest Israel-Palestine clash in May last year. Palestinian militant outfit Hamas had fired hundreds of rockets at Israel and more than 90% of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome systems, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed.

Its key features include a detection and tracking radar, battle management and weapon control system (BMC), and a missile-firing unit (MFU). The radar system has been developed by Israeli defense company Elta and the control system has been developed by Israeli software company mPrest Systems, which had collaborated with Rafael.

Owing to its large number of steering fins, the Iron Dome missile has high maneuverability and is also equipped with electro-optic sensors. It is capable of adapting to rapidly evolving threats and can counter multiple threats at the same time.

Once the Iron Dome detects and identifies a rocket, the system’s radar monitors the path of the rocket. Based on the information that the radar provides, the system’s BMC analyses the path of the threat and then calculates the possible point of contact.

In case the calculated path of the rocket poses a real threat, a command is run to launch an interceptor against the threat. The rocket is then detonated by the interceptor at a neutral location.

Iron Dome
The Israeli Iron Dome intercepting Hamas rockets. (Image: IDF)

Since Hamas fired an overwhelmingly large number of rockets at Israel, it was impossible for the Iron Dome to intercept all of them and some rockets did hit some urban areas in the country.

Even then, the interceptions were described as “extraordinary” by many experts. The Israelis hailed the Iron Dome as ‘god’s grace’ for all of its successful interceptions.

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