The Iron Dome Weapon System, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, works to detect, assess and intercept incoming rockets, artillery and mortars. Raytheon teams with Rafael on the production of Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missiles, which strike down incoming threats launched from ranges of 4-70 km.
It’s the world’s most used missile defense system, intercepting more than 1,500 targets with a greater than 90 percent success rate since being fielded in 2011.
The system is effective day or night and in all weather conditions, including low clouds, rain, dust storms and fog. It features a first-of-its-kind multi-mission launcher, which is designed to fire a variety of interceptor missiles, depending on the threat.
In 2014, Raytheon began providing a second source of subcomponents for the Tamir interceptor missile.
Ten Iron Dome batteries protect Israel, and each battery includes three to four stationary launchers with 20 Tamir missiles and a battlefield radar. Tamir missiles feature electro-optical sensors and steering fins with proximity fuze blast warheads.
Each of the Iron Dome batteries can defend up to nearly 60 square miles, but the systems are strategically placed around cities to intercept threats headed toward populated areas and ignore those fired at uninhabited regions. This cost-effective approach minimizes unnecessary interceptor launches.
The Iron Dome Weapon System is a key part of Israeli multi-layered defense, providing the lowest layer of its air and missile defense umbrella. Raytheon is also teamed with Rafael on the David’s Sling Weapon System, which provides the second layer.
Although Israel remains the sole operator of Iron Dome, several countries have expressed interest in the system, including the United States. Raytheon is working toward production of a U.S. version of Iron Dome called the “SkyHunter® missile” that could someday defend forward-deployed American forces.