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US to purchase 2 Israel Iron Dome systems

The United States plans to buy two Iron Dome anti-missile defence systems from Israel.

Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth reported yesterday that the US administration had asked Congress for $373 million to buy the two systems from Israel.

The US rarely buys armed systems from other countries due to national security considerations, but also because the US usually has the technological advantage, the Israeli daily explained. It added that while Israel has, in recent decades, sold technological systems to the United States, this will be the first time that Israel will sell a full defence system to its biggest ally.

The two systems are expected to include two launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centres and 240 interceptors.

READ: Trump: Israel is 'doing well' with $4.5bn US aid annually

"While the iron dome batteries are stationed inside Israel's borders to defend its citizens from rockets fired from Gaza, the Americans plan to deploy the batteries abroad to defend their soldiers in sensitive areas around the world," Yedioth Ahronoth explained.

"For several years, the US military has been looking for a system that can protect its forces from rockets, cruise missiles, drones, mortar shells and other threats on the battlefield" the paper said, adding: "In the past, the US tried to build interception systems based on American-made air-to-air missiles, but the costs were too high and the systems failed to meet all of the Army's operational needs."

"This has prompted the Americans to purchase the Iron Dome defence system from Israel, which could become one of the fastest arms deals in history," the Israeli paper concluded, with the deal likely to be concluded as early as 2020.

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