Foreign Interest in Iron Dome Rises After Improved Success Rate

Streaks of light are seen as the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Sunday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Israel’s recent Operation Breaking Dawn in the Gaza Strip highlighted the Iron Dome’s improved interception rate, saving the country’s economy billions of dollars and prompting interest among foreign buyers.

As most Israelis were able to continue working despite over 1,000 rockets being fired by the Islamic Jihad towards Israeli territory in just three days, experts are expecting overseas sales of Israel’s anti-missile system that made it possible to rise, according to a report in Globes.

The IDF reported on Sunday that the system designed to intercept and destroy missiles and rockets heading for populated areas reached a 97% success rate during Breaking Dawn, an impressive improvement from a 75% success rate in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

While parts of the Iron Dome have already been sold to countries like Canada, Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020 with a number of Arab States made the system more appealing to Israel’s Mideastern neighbors.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also added to Europe’s security concerns and triggered interest in the Iron Dome, especially in Germany that reportedly made an inquiry about purchasing the system during Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Israel in March. The approval process is said to be underway by the Defense Ministry and Israel’s leadership.

However, Israel refrains from selling the system to the warring parties, despite Kyiv repeatedly requesting to purchase the costly technology to protect its civilians from the heavy Russian shelling.

According to Globes, the Tamir interceptor missiles used by the Iron Dome cost $50,000 each, and by Sunday morning the bill for firing 300 of them surpassed $45 million. A source in the Finance Ministry said that the bill for the missiles will be presented in the form of budget demands by the defense forces.

Last week, the U.S. completed the latest Iron Dome Defense System interception test at the White Sands missile range along with Israel’s Defense Ministry’s Israeli Missile Defense Organization. In 2018, the U.S. Army purchased two batteries from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, including 12 launchers and 240 interceptors.

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