U.S. military trucks land in Israel to be fitted for Iron Dome defense system


The world's largest aircraft carrier, an Antonov An-225, lands at Ben Gurion Airport, in Lod, near Tel Aviv, on Monday, August 3. The Ukrainian cargo plane is carrying U.S. military Oshkosh trucks to be fitted with the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense systems. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

The world’s largest aircraft carrier, an Antonov An-225, lands at Ben Gurion Airport, in Lod, near Tel Aviv, on Monday, August 3. The Ukrainian cargo plane is carrying U.S. military Oshkosh trucks to be fitted with the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense systems. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) — U.S. military Oshkosh trucks were delivered to Israel on Monday, to be fitted for the Iron Dome defense weapons system, hours after Raytheon Co. and Israel’s Rafael announced a joint venture produce the Israeli system in the United States.

The world’s largest cargo plane, an Antonov AN-225, landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport Monday afternoon delivering the trucks that will be fitted with the Iron Dome systems.

The U.S. Army purchased several Iron Dome batteries for testing in 2019.

The Iron Dome system, which has been used successfully by Israel since 2011 to identify and destroy missiles aimed at populated areas, has a 90 percent success rate, according to the companies.

“This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” Sam Deneke, vice president of land warfare and air defense business execution at Raytheon, said in a press release.

A site location in the United States will be announced by the end of the year, the companies said.

The system works by tracking incoming short-range projectiles by radar, then analyzes data about the likely impact zone and assesses whether to provide co-ordinates to a missile firing unit to intercept.

The portable system then targets incoming rockets and fires an interceptor missile, typically a Skyhunter missile made in the United States by Raytheon, to destroy the incoming projectile in the air.

The companies claim the system has a 90 percent success rate, with over 2,500 intercepts.

The joint venture was announced days after the United States and Israel also signed an agreement to make the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, defensive missile system interoperable with Iron Dome.

“After a virtual meeting with the USAFE-AFAFRICA [U.S. military commands in Europe and Africa], the Israeli Air Force & the U.S.A.F. [U.S. Air Force] signed a document defining the interoperability between the American THAAD missile & the Israeli Iron Dome in case of an emergency in Israel,” the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter on July 30.

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