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IMDEX 2023: Rafael introduces modular variant of C-Dome air-defence system

A still from a video released by the Israel Defense Forces on 18 May 2016 showing an Iron Dome launcher mounted on the helipad of a Sa'ar 5 corvette firing a Tamir missile. Rafael has since released a modular variant of the C-Dome, which is the naval version of Iron Dome, that looks similar to this 2016 set-up. (Israel Defense Forces)

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has unveiled a modular variant of its C-Dome fleet-area naval air-defence system that can be cross-deployed quickly across multiple vessels.

The concept was unveiled at the IMDEX 2023 exhibition in Singapore, which took place from 3 to 5 May at the Changi Exhibition Centre. It is based on the C-Dome set-up that was declared operational in 2017 and is now found on several Israeli Navy vessels such as the Sa'ar 6-class corvettes.

The C-Dome is a naval air-defence system that is derived from Rafael's land-based Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets, artillery shells, and mortars. The C-Dome employs the Tamir interceptor missile, which is launched via the host ship's vertical launching system (VLS).

The variant of the system that was unveiled at the IMDEX 2023 utilises the same interceptor. However, instead of utilising a host vessel's VLS, the interceptors are launched from a containerised module that can be deployed on a suitable open space such as the flight deck, said a Rafael representative who spoke to Janes at the exhibition.

This allows the system to be deployed quickly and on short notice, without the need for any hull-penetrating works to be done. It provides navies with greater flexibility when it comes to the deployment of vessels for area-wide air-defence missions, and the vessel that plays this role can be switched rapidly according to availability, the representative said.

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