The U.S. Marines will purchase three Iron Dome batteries from Israel, obtaining the advanced anti-missile system that the Jewish State has used to protect civilian areas from barrages of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists.
The Israeli business website Globes reported:
The US Marine Corps has announced that it will procure three Iron Dome batteries, with 44 launchers and 1,840 Tamir interceptor missiles, in a deal expected to total nearly $200 million. According to the US announcement, the Iron Dome batteries are intended to contend with cruise missiles, but, as demonstrated in Israel, these systems from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are capable of taking out UAVs and rockets.
The U.S. Army has already purchased several Iron Dome batteries, but they have been controversial, as some argue that they do not integrate well into the Army’s current system:
The Iron Dome system is highly effective against the threats it was designed to contend with: rockets, artillery, mortars, and slower-flying cruise missiles. With over 2,000 claimed intercepts, it is among the most combat-proven air defenses in history. Its capability is greatest when operationally integrated as part of a layered defense, as it is deployed in Israel. As a defense acquisition program, Iron Dome is a remarkable case study in urgent material development, cost-effective interceptors, and multi-national development, financing, and production.
The simple problem is that Iron Dome, designed as part of Israel’s layered air defense network, cannot currently be integrated into the US Army’s future air defense brain, the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS). Unless or until granted access to the underlying source code, cybersecurity concerns preclude that from happening. For better or worse, a requirement to plug into IBCS applies to virtually all new and legacy systems, including Patriot, Sentinel and LTAMDS radars, and IFPC. The requirement imposes costs on both these forthcoming systems and, in time, on other allies, such as the sixteen or so other operators of Patriot who will continue to use its organic command and control system, rather than getting IBCS.
Nevertheless, the system remains a monument to U.S.-Israel cooperation. Conceived by Israeli innovators, the Iron Dome’s development was partly funded by the U.S., even under the Obama administration, which distanced itself from Israel diplomatically. It proved its success in wars against Palestinian terrorists, though Iranian-backed terror groups have tested Iron Dome’s limits by firing as many rockets as possible, hoping that some break through.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.