Obama Signs Additional Funding for Iron Dome
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday signed a bill granting an additional $225 million in taxpayer dollars for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, reports The Associated Press (AP).
The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars for Iron Dome in the past. The new package is intended to replenish Israel's capabilities.
Congress approved the money last week before lawmakers left for their annual summer break. Obama signed the bill in the late afternoon in the Oval Office with a handful of photographers present, noted AP.
The Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets that are fired towards populated area, has proven very effective and its success rate was listed as 90% in 2012.
The system uses radar, advanced tracking technology and anti-missile batteries to follow the trajectory of an incoming rocket or mortar and determine if it is headed for a major population center. If an urban area is threatened, interceptors are fired to detonate in the air in close proximity to the missile. Projectiles not posing a threat are allowed to fall in empty fields.
The system targets short-range rockets with a range between 2 miles and 45 miles; interceptors cost as much $100,000 apiece.
In March, the U.S. Defense Department announced it was providing $429 million to Israel for further development of its aerial defenses, specifically the Iron Dome system.