US Marine Corps Plans to Purchase Rafael’s Iron Dome

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: After evaluating other solutions, the US Marine Corps presented plans for the purchase of three Iron Dome batteries, 44 launchers (each launcher can load 20 interceptors) and 1,840 Tamir interceptors, according to an official announcement in the US. The exact value of the deal is unknown, but based on publicly available data, the cost of the interceptors alone may be close to $200 million.

The systems will mainly help protect units against cruise missiles, but will also provide protection against drones, rockets and artillery. From the American government announcement published on the System for Award Management website, which publishes procurement contracts, indicates that the contract will be signed directly with Raytheon, the manufacturer of the Patriot missiles, and Rafael’s partner. A significant part of the production will be carried out in the USA and, unlike the Iron Dome operated by the Air Force, the American system will also be equipped with an American radar.

The Marines have already conducted two rounds of tests with the Tamir interceptors, which impressed the Americans with their ability to intercept cruise missiles and other targets. In contrast to the systems purchased by the Army, the Marines’ system, known as MRIC, is based on radars and control systems of the American defence industries, which helped pass in Washington the purchase of a system based on Israeli interceptors.

This is the second Iron Dome procurement deal with the Americans. In 2019, the US Army purchased two Iron Dome batteries, in their Israeli configuration, for $340 million.  Other countries that purchased a full system are Azerbaijan and Romania, which will produce Iron Dome batteries under license cooperation of the ROMAERO Company with Rafael. Cyprus is conducting advanced negotiations for the purchase of several batteries.

Israeli sources told Raksha Anirveda that there is a surge of interest in the Israeli combat proven air defence system.