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US leasing Iron Dome to Israel for 11 months

The Iron Dome air-defence system has been used by Israel to intercept rocket attacks in recent years. It has been used in the Israeli operations that started after the 7 October attack. (PA)

The two Iron Dome air-defence batteries owned by the US will go to Israel for at least 11 months, Doug Bush, US Army assistant secretary of acquisition, logistics, and technology, told reporters on 7 November.

The cost o the lease is “not free” but relatively cheap, Bush announced during a Pentagon briefing. Israel will have the option to buy the system at the end of the lease, he added.

The army chose to lease the systems to Israel because it “was the fastest way” to get the batteries to the Middle East, he said. The US has been in discussions with Israel about providing Iron Dome batteries since the start of the conflict. The US only has two, which it purchased to be an interim capability while the army develops its Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2.

The payback for the lease and the status of the units are “to be determined”, Bush said. If Israel decides to buy, it is possible the army and the Israel Defense Forces could reach a special arrangement for payment, “depending on factors on the ground”, he noted.

The batteries are in transit to Israel now, while most of the Tamir missiles that are used as rocket interceptors are already in the country, Bush added.

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