The US Army is slated to receive two Iron Dome batteries by the end of the year and could potentially field the air-defence systems in 2021, with soldiers manning them, according to Brigadier General Brian Gibson, the head of the service’s Air and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team (CFT).
So far, the spread of the novel coronavirus will not delay the delivery of Rafael’s Iron Dome batteries to the army by the end of the calendar year, Brig Gen Gibson told
during an 22 April interview. Once the service receives the systems, it will begin training soldiers on how to operate and support them.
“We intend to use US Army air defense soldiers on these weapons systems, and we will not go down a contractor-operated model,” the one-star general said, noting that each battery requires between 50 and 75 personnel to man it.
“It’s a series of activities over a period of months that we need to accomplish before we consider and we give them a check block that says, ‘Yes, we’re ready to deploy these things anywhere around the world,’” he added separately.
A Tamir missile is fired from an Iron Dome launcher during a test. The US Army said that it could field two Iron Dome batteries in 2021. (Israeli Ministry of Defense)
Although soldiers should be ready to deploy with these systems by the end of September 2021, Brig Gen Gibson noted that this timeline could be accelerated.