Iron Dome Ready for Deployment, US General Says

The United States is ready for the Iron Dome system, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Commander Lieutenant General said. Daniel Kerbler told the Senate last week when asked if Ukraine could take advantage of the scheme.

Ukraine on Monday criticized Israel for sending a senior foreign ministry diplomat to Moscow. Jerusalem is “business as usual with Russian war criminals,” said a senior Ukrainian diplomat.

During a session of the Senate Military Strategy Subcommittee on Missile Defense Issues last week, Sen. Angus King (independent, Maine) asked why the Iron Dome was not deployed to Ukraine.

Development of Iron Dome

“We helped pay for it,” he said. “We have sent around $3 billion to Israel for development…Isn’t this a very important resource because the main problem for Ukraine right now is missile defense?”

The Iron Dome air and missile defense system was developed by Israeli defense company Rafael and was commissioned by the Israeli government to initially fund the development and deployment of the first two systems. The United States contributed $2.6 billion. Since its 2011 deployment, it has been installed in the Iron Dome project, allowing the production of additional systems and interceptor missiles. Rafael and U.S.-based Raytheon jointly produce components for the U.S. interceptor missile, which has two Iron Dome systems.

The Iron Dome air defense missile system is seen during operational tests conducted after the end of Operation Shield and Arrow on May 14, 2023 (Credit: Department of Defense)

In response to Dr. King’s question, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plum said the United States is supporting Ukraine’s war effort with “things it can supply from its own inventory,” such as Patriot missile batteries.

“We are investing heavily in missile defense and are encouraging our allies to do the same,” he said. “I am not aware that the Iron Dome system is being offered to Ukraine.”

Kerbler said the U.S. “has two iron dome batteries right now.” One has completed new equipment training and new equipment deployment. Ready for deployment. He is currently completing training on new equipment for one company.That’s why the military has it [Iron Dome battery] It can be deployed upon request from Ukraine. ”

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command said Carver was referring to the Iron Dome system being available to U.S. combatant commanders upon request. Clarified that it is not about Ukraine.

As a major producer of the Iron Dome system, Israel needs US approval to send it to other countries.

The prime minister’s office declined to comment when asked if Kabler’s remarks implied that Israel had authorized the delivery of the Iron Dome to Ukraine.

Despite Kiev’s request, Israel has not provided Ukraine with defensive weapons. Jerusalem has generally said it opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it would allow the IAF to attack Iranian targets near its northern border unhindered by Russian forces maintaining a presence in Syria. We do not want to threaten the collision avoidance mechanism of Israel sends humanitarian aid to Ukraine, donating and authorizing the export of missiles and drone attack warning systems.

The Iron Dome has been the subject of various messages from Ukraine. Last year, Evgen Kornychuk, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel, said: “We need an Iron Dome … so that we can save civilian women and children from the shelling of Russian missiles on our territory. ‘ said.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said the Iron Dome will not protect against cruise or ballistic missiles. The Iron Dome mainly defends against short-range rockets and artillery shells. It is estimated that there are about 12 batteries in the world, 10 of which are in Israel (the Ministry of Defense did not disclose the exact number), and he has 2 in the United States.

The 10 locations in Israel do not actually cover the entire country and may be moved to different locations that may be attacked. Since Ukraine is 11 times the size of Israel, it means that a single Iron Dome Battery can defend very little.

On Monday, senior Ukrainian diplomats sharply criticized Israel for a May 5 meeting in Moscow attended by Deputy Foreign Ministry Director for Strategic Affairs Joshua Zarka, Deputy Director for Europe and Asia Simona Halperin and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two sides mainly discussed Iran’s nuclear threat and diplomacy related to the now-expired Iran nuclear deal. Jerusalem confirmed that talks had taken place but gave no further details. A senior Ukrainian diplomatic official said Kiev was “extremely disappointed by the mutual visits between Israel and Russia.” [Foreign Ministry] While Russia is slaughtering our people, officials. ”

“We are under attack by terrorists who are steadily backed by the Russian-Iranian alliance, yet Israeli officials continue to trade with Russian war criminals as normal,” the official said. “Israel must decide whether it is part of the Western world, side by side with Ukraine, or embraces the dark forces of the world. Neutrality is not an option.”

“As a country that has also suffered Iran-financed terrorist attacks, we do not expect Israel to be the only Western country with strong ties to Russia,” said a senior Ukrainian diplomatic official.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to respond to Ukrainian statements.

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