The United States and the State of Israel concluded an agreement on March 5 to continue support of the production of the Iron Dome weapon system.
The Iron Dome system is capable of intercepting and destroying short-range rockets, and mortar and artillery shells, and is an invaluable component of Israeli missile defense.
During Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Iron Dome was credited with saving countless Israeli lives, and was called a “game-changer” by many Israeli policy-makers. Yesterday's agreement ensures continued U.S. funding for procurement of Iron Dome systems and interceptors, and provides for significant co-production opportunities for U.S. industry. Under the terms of the agreement, $429 million will be transferred immediately to Israel to support Iron Dome procurement.
The agreement represents strategic value for both nations. Israel will obtain valuable resources to contribute to its defense and U.S. industry will receive meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components.
Iron Dome is a mobile all-weather air defense system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 to 70 kilometers away. Israel hopes to increase the range of Iron Dome's interceptions, from the current maximum of 70 km (45 miles) to 250 km and make it more versatile so that it could intercept rockets coming from two directions simultaneously.
Iron Dome was declared operational and initially deployed on 27 March 2011 near Beersheba.
Source: Missile Defense Agency - MDA; Wikipedia