Following Iron Dome's near-flawless performance in its first days of operational use, the United States will transfer $205 million to Israel for the construction of four more batteries, which should be operational by late 2012, IDF Radio reported Sunday. U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve the funding last year, and it appears that the U.S. and Israel were waiting to see how the systrem performs before carrying out the transfer.
Iron Dome Not for Sale
After Iron Dome's success (see video), Washington will transfer $205M for additional batteries, to be deployed 18 months from now.
The IDF has released thermal imagery video of Iron Dome's strikes on its targets. Some of the video is in slow motion:
The head of MAPAT (the IDF's Authority for Research and Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructures), Ofir Shoham, told the military radio station that Iron Dome succeeded in intercepting all of the rockets that were fired at its area of coverage, "except for one apparent operational glitch, which the system's operators are studying."
Shoham said that there is growing interest in Iron Dome worldwide, but that MAPAT is not interested in selling it at this time.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that "the system's success has resounded throughout the world, including in the European countries that I visited."
"However, an offensive operation was also required, and the IDF tallied up an impressive score in enemy lives and equipment lost. If the attacks on Israel's civilians and soldiers continue, the response will be much stronger."