Earlier this year the United States said it planned to help Israel buy four new batteries after budgeting $203.8 million in congressional funding assistance for the system in fiscal 2011.
The Iron Dome system was rolled out in March after rushed production. It intercepts only rockets it calculates will hit built-up areas and ignores others set to land in open ground.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said militants had fired over 150 projectiles into Israel in the latest round of fighting. Iron Dome’s success was ‘exceptional,’ he said Sunday….
Barak said Israel would have another battery operational within a few weeks, a fourth by the end of the year and nine by the end of 2013. Israel has said it wants 10-15 units to defend its Palestinian and Lebanese fronts.
A senior commander said Iron Dome interceptors had shot down 20 incoming projectiles fired by Gaza militants in five days of cross-border violence and said that statistically the fact that one rocket got through did not mean the system had failed.
Colonel Zvika Haimovitch, an air force officer in charge of Israel’s active air defense units, said that was a very high rate of success but no system could guarantee total protection.
The Iron Dome battery placed to protect the southern city of Beersheba intercepted four of five rockets fired in one barrage but failed to stop the one that got through and killed the man and wounded several other people when it landed near a house.
Click here to read more about the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Click here to read more about Obama’s other actions to strengthen Israel’s security.