Israel’s Naval Air Defence System C-Dome Scores its First Operational Intercept

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: The naval version of the Israeli developed Iron Dome air defence system C- Dome has scored its first operational intercept. The system is deployed on an Israeli navy’s SAAR 6 missile corvette sailing in the Red sea.

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The system, according to the Israeli defence forces, intercepted a unmanned system flying in the direction of Eilat , the Israeli city on the Red Sea.

The C-Dome naval air defence system is based on the Iron Dome defence system developed by Rafael, with the command-and-control system developed by Israeli company mPrest. C-Dome interfaces with the SAAR 6’s ‘Adir’ radar, developed by IAI’s ELTA division. It joins other advanced systems that make up Israel’s multi-tier missile defence array, including the Arrow and David’s Sling systems.

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The SAAR 6 corvettes are designed to carry a combined air defence system, comprised of the Barak -8 and the C-Dome. The navy says that the use of both systems will be defined by the threat.

“In some scenarios, both interceptors will be launched,” an Israeli source said.

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The system’s radar manufactured by ELTA Systems, an IAI group and subsidiary, is a multi-mission radar, supporting air defence missions. It delivers an accurate, high quality, real-time arena situation picture and extracts low Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets even in the toughest environmental conditions. It is a digital Active Electronic Steering Array (AESA) Radar System which incorporates new and advanced technologies.

According to Rafael, C-Dome handles saturation attacks by engaging multiple targets simultaneously. The reaction time is very short and enables automatic and semi-automatic engagements.

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C-Dome components include a multi-round launcher assembly loaded with vertically-launched canistered interceptors. The launcher is installed under the ship’s deck. C-Dome utilises the ship’s own surveillance radar and does not require a dedicated fire control radar. The weapon system command and control is seamlessly integrated with the ship’s combat management system, facilitating system operation.

The interceptors are maintenance-free, and are stored in a sea-proof canister. In all, 8 interceptors can be loaded into a modular vertical launcher unit, says Rafael.

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