Israel successfully tests shipborne Iron Dome missile interceptor
IDF unveils new weapon that can block short-range ballistic missiles while aboard a moving ship, expected to protect offshore rigs and other assets
Israel has successfully tested a maritime missile interception system that can shoot down short-range missiles, dubbing it the “Iron Dome of the Sea,” the navy announced on Wednesday.
The Tamir-Adir system, which the IDF said can shoot down short-range rockets similar to those fired from Gaza, successfully destroyed “several” missiles, Col. Ariel Shir, head of operational systems in the navy, said.
Shir said that during tests carried out two weeks ago, a battery mounted to a ship shot down every one of a salvo of short-range ballistic rockets fired from the shore.
He said the test “proved the Israeli navy’s ability to protect Israel’s strategic assets at sea against short-range strategic rockets.”
A video provided by the army showed a rocket launcher installed on a ship firing at targets in the sky and later intercepting a missile.
During the 2014 Gaza war, Israel deployed its Iron Dome system on land to shoot down rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups across the border, calling the system a game-changer.
The Tamir Adir system uses technology developed for Iron Dome but adjusted for the operational needs of a moving vessel.
The system was in development for several years, but was only unveiled to the public Wednesday.
The battery is designed to be placed on a moving ship traveling up to cruise speed and will be used to protect strategic assets, such as natural gas rigs, in Israel’s territorial waters.
Included in Israel’s sea assets is a major offshore gas rig around 16 nautical miles from Gaza which the Hamas terror group has previously targeted unsuccessfully.
Any damage to the rig or other rigs under development could be hugely damaging to the Israeli economy, since it provides large amounts of the country’s energy needs and is expected to turn Israel into a gas exporter.
The Israeli Navy tests a new sea-based missile defense system, in a video released on May 18, 2016 (screen capture: YouTube)