Iron Dome

Operator: Israel
Status: In Service
Number: 12 batteries in service (goal of 15 batteries)
Cost: Est. $50 million per battery
Acquired: April 2011
General Specs:
Country of origin: Israel (US funded and co-produced)
Manufacturer: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, MPrest Systems (Software), Elta (Radar), Raytheon (Missile components)
Introduced: 2011
Class: Counter Rocket, Artillery, & Mortar (C-RAM) and Very Short-Range Air Defense Missile System (V-SHORAD)
Range: VSHORAD: 6.2 mi (10 km)
C-RAM: 43.5 mi (70 km)
Altitude: 32,800 ft (10,000 m)
Warhead: 24 lb (11 kg) Proximity-fused explosive
Speed: Mach 2.2
Weight: 198 lb (90 kg) missile
Length: 9.8 ft (3 m) missile
Diameter: 6.3 in (16 cm)
Guidance System:
Accuracy: 75-90%
Radar(s): ELM-2084 Radar
Launch Platform: Mobile Land Battery
Missiles Per Launcher: As many as 20 missile per battery
Operators (crew): Battle Weapon Management Control Unit
Miscellaneous: Uses Tamir Interceptor Missile
All Weather
A maritime version has been developed called the C-Dome which will be integrated into the new Sa’ar 6 class corvettes.
Handles Multiple Threats Simultanously
Combat History: Over 700 rockets intercepted in southern and central Israel.


Israel’s Multilayer Defense System Nears Completion

A joint U.S.-Israel missile interceptor will be operational in early April, completing Israel’s multilayer defense system, a senior Israeli Air Force official said Monday. David’s Sling is meant to counter medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. When the interceptor becomes operational, it will mark the completion of the multilayer system. That includes […]

Congress Okays $600m for Israel Missile Defense

A day ahead of a government shutdown deadline, Congress scrambled on Thursday to wrap-up unfinished business, voting decisively to send President Barack Obama a defense policy bill, including more than $600 million for missile defense cooperation with Israel. The Senate passed the defense legislation by a wide margin, 92-7, a week after the House overwhelmingly […]

New U.S. Defense Bill Includes $600 Million in Aid for Israel

A number of measures for Israel have been attached to a defense spending bill approved in the U.S. House of Representatives, including $600 million in missile defense cooperation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Thursday welcomed the missile defense component of National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that outlines defense spending policies. The spending […]

US Lawmakers Again Seek To Boost Israeli Missile Defense Funding

Another bipartisan push is afoot by US lawmakers to bolster funding for Israel’s missile defense beyond what is requested by the president in the fiscal 2017 defense budget. While several influential lawmakers are calling for added funding for such US-Israeli partnership efforts like the Iron Dome air defense system, David’s Sling, a medium- and long-range air defense system, and […]

Israel to Launch One of the Most Advanced Missile Defense Systems in the World, with U.S. Help

A joint exercise now being conducted between thousands of Israeli troops and the U.S. European Command represents a final test before Israel begins to deploy one of the most sophisticated missile defense systems in the world. When it is complete, Israel’s multibillion-dollar rocket and missile air defense system will be far superior to anything in […]

Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported February 23 that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Mediterranean after it was launched from the Gaza Strip. According to IDF sources, an Israeli F-16 shot down the UAV, which it said belonged to Hamas, before it was able to cross into the country’s airspace. […]

Israel’s Military Wish List

Since Congress first mandated military aid to Israel in 1971, the United States has provided the country nearly $100 billion in assistance. In 2008, Washington’s commitment to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) over its regional adversaries was formally written into U.S. law. That close military cooperation is set to intensify following last week’s visit […]

The Lasers That Will Fry Iran’s Drones

Iran continues to develop an expanding fleet of homemade unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Tehran announced its latest “suicide drone” on the heels of a massive military exercise last month. But a new, high-tech weapon developed by the United States Navy — one that can swat drones from the sky — could render Iran’s new aerial […]

Israel’s Naval Iron Dome: Ideal for Qatar, But A Deal Not Likely

Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled the “C-Dome” system at last week’s Euronaval conference in France. The system, which some are calling “Naval Iron Dome,” will enable sea vessels to knock down threats from the sky, including aircraft and missiles. The system will be particularly useful to Israel as it develops new platforms for […]

Countering Gaza’s Mortars

Hours before the latest ceasefire was announced between Hamas and Israel, two Israeli civilians were killed and five others wounded near the Gaza border by Palestinian mortar fire. This followed a mortar attack Friday that killed four year-old Daniel Tragerman in kibbutz Nahal Oz. Though often overlooked because of their limited range and small size, […]

S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 – Passed both Houses of Congress on December 8, 2016. Within the law several sections authorize military assistance to Israel, including:

  • SEC. 1250. UNITED STATES-ISRAEL DIRECTED ENERGY COOPERATION.(a) Authority To Establish Directed Energy Capabilities Program With Israel.—(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Defense, upon the request of the Ministry of Defense of Israel, and with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, may carry out research, development, test, and evaluation activities, on a joint basis with Israel, to establish directed energy capabilities to detect and defeat ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, mortars, and improvised explosive devices that threaten the United States, deployed forces of the United States, or Israel. Any activities carried out pursuant to such authority shall be conducted in a manner that appropriately protects sensitive information and the national security interests of the United States and Israel. Continue reading “S.2943 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017” »

S.1356 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

S.1356 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 – Signed into law on November 5, 2015. Within the law several sections authorize military assistance to Israel, including:

  • (Sec. 1279) Authorizes DOD to carry out research, development, test, and evaluation jointly with Israel to establish anti-tunnel capabilities to detect, map, and neutralize underground tunnels that threaten the United States or Israel. Requires DOD, prior to carrying out the activities, to submit a report and certification to Congress regarding a memorandum of agreement between the United States and Israel addressing the sharing of costs, a framework for negotiating the rights to intellectual property developed, and reports on expenditures. Authorizes DOD to provide procurement, maintenance, and sustainment assistance to Israel in support of the anti-tunnel capabilities research, development, test, and evaluation activities authorized in this section if Israel matches the contribution. Requires DOD to designate a research and development entity of a military department as the lead agency in carrying out this section.
  • (Sec. 1678) Authorizes appropriations to be provided to Israel for the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system. Requires the funds to be subject to the “Agreement Between the Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the State of Israel Concerning Iron Dome Defense System Procurement.” Requires DOD to submit to Congress prior to obligating funds: (1) a certification that the Agreement is being successfully implemented, and (2) an assessment of risks relating to the implementation of the Agreement.
  • (Sec. 1679) Authorizes appropriations for procurement and coproduction of the Israeli David’s Sling Weapons System and the Arrow 3 Upper Tier missile defense system, subject to specified terms and conditions.

H.R. 938, the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act

H.R. 938 -The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States and was introduced on March 4, 2013.

  • Amends the Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 to extend authority to: (1) make additions to foreign-based defense stockpiles, and (2) transfer certain obsolete or surplus Department of Defense (DOD) items to Israel.
  • Authorizes the President to carry out U.S.-Israel cooperative activities and to provide assistance for cooperation in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies.
  • Amends the the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to extend the grant program for U.S.-Israeli cooperation on research, development, and commercialization of renewable energy or energy efficiency.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States and Israel should increase cyber-security cooperation.
  • Urges the President to provide assistance for enhancement of the David’s Sling Weapon System, the joint United States-Israel Arrow Weapon System, and the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system.

H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act

H.R. 1130, the Iron Dome Support Act, was introduced on March 13, 2013. This bill commends Israel’s use of the Iron Dome to avert escalating tension in the Middle East, as well as its high success rate. The bill acknowledges that the State of Israel remains under constant threat from missiles, rockets, and mortar shells from Hamas and Hezbollah.

This legislation will explicitly include Hamas and Hezbollah as non-state actors threatening Israel’s qualitative military edge. As a result:

The United States remains committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge, including its advantage over non-state actors such as Hezbollah and Hamas, which boast increasingly sophisticated and powerful weapons as a result of support from Iran, Syria, and other state actors.”

The Iron Dome Support Act commends Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system’s impressive success rate in preventing massive Israeli civilian casualties, while also recognizing the system’s role in averting an escalation of Israeli operations during Operation Pillar of Defense. This bill, with Congressional and Senate approval, will affirm:

“The President, acting through the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, is authorized to provide assistance, upon request by the Government of Israel, for the procurement, maintenance, enhancement, and sustainment of the Iron Dome defense system for purposes of intercepting short-range and medium-range rockets, missiles, and projectiles launched against Israel.”

H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was made a law in early 2012. This law, following a recent Israel-Hamas conflict, further expressed the United States’ support for Israel attaining additional Iron Dome batteries. Consequentially, the legislation “urges the Department of Defense and the Department of State to explore with their Israeli counterparts and alert Congress of any requirements the Israeli Defense Force may have for additional Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, or other equipment.”

H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was signed into law on January 1, 2013

S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012

S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was the pronouncement of a deep understanding between the two countries mutual security and stability concerns. Israel is the United States’ most significant security partner and America’s most valuable ally in the Middle East. Israel’s military strength and central geo-strategic location provide a strong deterrent against Iran, Syria and other radical forces opposed to the United States. As such, the legislation reaffirms the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s inherent right to self-defense by encouraging further cooperation between the two countries on matters of homeland security, missile defense, intelligence, and cyber-security.

On political and diplomatic issues, this law confirms America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. As Section 3 of the law clarifies, it is the policy of the United States to veto any one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council while encouraging Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s inherent right to exist as a Jewish States. The United States government will also encourage further development of advanced technology programs between the two countries, and concurrently assist Israel in advancing a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In support of this policy, the legislation further clarified U.S. policy and called for the U.S. government to take several considerable actions to bolster Israel’s qualitative military advantage:

  • Provide Israel support as necessary to increase development and production of joint missile defense systems
  • Provide assistance specifically for the production and procurement of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system
  • Provide Israel with improved defense services, including air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities and specialized munitions
  • Allocate additional weaponry and munitions for the forward-deployed United States stockpile in Israel
  • Provide additional surplus defense articles in relation to the United States’ withdrawal from Iraq
  • Offer additional training and exercise opportunities for the Israeli Air Force
  • Expand Israel’s authority to make purchases under the Foreign Military Financing program.
  • Encourage an expanded role for Israel in NATO, politically and militarily
  • Expand intelligence sharing and cooperation between the two countries
  • Assess how to improve the cost-efficiency and purchasing process for Israel’s procurement of F-35 aircraft.


S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, was signed into law on July 27, 2012