Iron Dome in action (Photo: AP)
“With all that is happening in Europe, especially the fact that Russia has really awakened itself and has really decided to rebuild its military and is really posing a threat, we are looking at how we can do the multi-tiered defence,” Bramhall told Reuters at a conference hosted by the Israeli security organisation iHLS.
“We are looking at multiple solutions to actually create a third tier that is missing. Patriot and THAAD are great systems that do what they were designed to do. But I don’t think we would want to waste a Patriot or a THAAD missile on something that can be affected by something that’s lower cost and is actually designed for that job itself.”
“I think we are looking at something that is similar to Iron Dome. We have looked at the Tamir as a possible missile,” he added, raising the prospect of the Israeli-designed missiles being used with the US Army’s Multi Mission Launcher platform.
Bramhall anticipated that the short-range system chosen would be deployed “probably within two or three years”. Rafael puts the Tamir unit cost at around $100,000, a price tag Bramhall said he believed was “within an acceptable range”.
Iron Dome (Photo: Herzel Yosef)
US Army purchases of Tamir would buoy Israeli defence industries unsure of whether they can bank on Washington’s largesse in the future. In talks on a new long-term defence aid package to Israel, the White House wants to cut the amount of grant money the Israelis can spend on their own products.
Bramhall was due to inspect an Iron Dome unit in Israel on Tuesday. A Rafael vice president, Yosi Druker, was circumspect about whether the US Army should be lobbied to buy Tamirs rather than await a comparable American interceptor missile.
“It would be right for us at Rafael, and for every Israeli citizen, to support whatever the Americans decide on,” Druker told Reuters.
Iron Dome was initially billed as providing city-sized coverage against rockets or mortar shells with ranges of between 3 miles and 42 miles. System upgrades extended that reach to up to 95 miles, Israeli experts say.
Great Israel can’t sell the Iron Dome so US comes to the rescue!
There are so many similar systems on the market