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Pentagon Considering Adapting Iron Dome to Defend U.S. Forces

Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor is being consider by the United States Army to defend deployed troops, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Iron Dome was primarily produced by the Israeli defense giant Rafael, but many of its component systems were provided by the American defense contractor Raytheon. That company has now built its own version of the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors, called SkyHunter.

Skyhunter is one of three systems being evaluated by the U.S. Army to defend against “a spectrum of threats, from cruise missiles and UAVs to rockets, artillery and mortars,” Defense News reported. If selected, the Tamir would be totally constructed by Raytheon and redesigned to meet American standards.

“The minute that the US decides to procure Iron Dome, [Rafael] will transfer all the knowledge and production file to Raytheon,” said Yosi Druker, head of Rafael’s Air Superiority Systems division. According to the two companies’ joint agreement, Rafael will produce 40 percent of the component parts.

Iron Dome is considered a favorite to win the contract because it is low-cost and has a proven track record. The Tamir interceptor was also successfully tested in the United States in April.

In its trademark description of SkyHunter, Raytheon describes it as “a ground-based missile interceptor system consisting of a guided missile with electro-optic sensors and adjustable steering fins for tracking and destroying incoming enemy rockets, missiles, artillery and mortars.”

[Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90 ]