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US military receives Israel's Iron Dome batteries

Israeli soldiers walk near an Israeli Irone Dome defence system (L) on 25 February, 2016 [AFP/Gil Cohen-Magen/Getty]
Israeli soldiers walk past an Israeli Iron Dome defence system on 25 February, 2016 [AFP/Gil Cohen-Magen/Getty]

The first of two Israeli Iron Dome missile defence batteries were delivered to the United States (US) military yesterday, a year after a deal for their purchase was signed.

In August last year, the US finalised a contract to acquire two Iron Dome missile defence system batteries to enhance its short-range missile defence capabilities.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the purchase included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centres and 240 interceptors, at a cost of $1.5 billion.

The fully mobile system carries ten kilogrammes of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometres away.

Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, the system will be used "in the defense of US troops against a variety of ballistic and aerial threats," according to a Defence Ministry statement.

READ: Czech Republic to purchase Israel air defence systems

The second battery will be delivered "in the near future within the framework of the agreement," the statement added.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who recently returned from a trip to Washington, hailed the sale as proof of close cooperation between the US and Israel.

He said: "Last week I visited the United States and met with senior officials in the US Department of Defense and in the military. Among other things, we discussed procurement and information sharing in the field of technology."

"The completion of this agreement serves as further proof that the defence alliance is based on common values and interests, which are stronger than ever."

The US and Israel already cooperate extensively on security matters. Israel's big three defence companies, Elbit Systems, IAI and Rafael, have numerous cooperative projects with America.

The Iron Dome, Israeli military systems which intercept missiles - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Iron Dome, Israeli military systems which intercept missiles – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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