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US Army conducts Iron Dome flight test

The US Army conducted its second live-fire test with Iron Dome at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. (US Army)

US Army soldiers recently used Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Iron Dome during a live-fire test against cruise missile threats, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) announced on 2 August.

The service acquired two Iron Dome batteries as an ‘interim' cruise missile defence capability following a congressional mandate. However, the service has not yet fielded the weapon and is continuing to test it out.

During the recent test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment “successfully” detected, tracked, and intercepted multiple cruise missile and unmanned aerial system surrogate targets, according to the IMDO.

“This is the second interception test since the two batteries were supplied to the US Army at the end of 2020,” IMDO Director in the Israeli Ministry of Defense Moshe Patel said in the statement. “In this test as well, the system intercepted all the threats, while being interoperable with US systems.”

Although the army is testing out this air-defence system with tentative plans to field it, last year it selected Dynetics' new ‘Enduring Shield' launcher, paired with Raytheon's ground-launched AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, for its Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 (IFPC Inc 2) programme over Iron Dome.

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