Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has unveiled the latest member of its Dome family of defensive protection systems. Known as I-Dome, the new system takes the combat-proven Iron Dome V-SHORAD (very short-range air defence) and C-RAM (counter rockets, artillery, mortars) system and mounts it on a battlefield MAN 6x6 truck chassis.
As well as retaining Iron Dome’s ability to provide point defence, the I-Dome is fully mobile and has been developed to support deployed forces in the field, where they may be operating outside of the fixed air defence umbrella. Rafael (Hall 6, Stand E687/688) has recognised this requirement from its discussions with potential customers.
I-Dome is operated by a crew of three or four, depending on the operational requirement. The system comprises a 10-round launcher for the Iron Dome interceptors, reduced from 20 rounds in the fixed-position variant, which to date has undertaken more than 1,700 interceptions with a success rate of more than 90 per cent. The C4I system, previously accommodated in a separate vehicle, has been moved into the vehicle’s cabin. Behind the cabin is the radar, a new unit with a four-panel array providing 360° coverage. The antenna array is raised above the vehicle on a mast, and the system can be ready for action within a few minutes of coming to a halt.
The radar has a shorter range than that of Iron Dome, but this is not an issue in the mobile defence role.
I-Dome can operate as a stand-alone system, or can be networked as a V-SHORAD/ C-RAM layer into a wider air defence system.
In the C-RAM role, the radar and battle management and weapon control system rapidly detect and track rockets and artillery rounds, estimating their points of impact. If they offer no threat they are not engaged by the interceptors.
Discrimination between threatening and non-threatening targets greatly reduces unnecessary launches.