Raytheon and Raphael have set up a company in the United States to manufacture Iron Dome systems – Techtime

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August 3, 2020

The two companies estimate that by the end of 2020 they will complete the selection of the production site. It will be the only production facility outside Israel that is capable of producing complete systems. The U.S. military has ordered two systems


Raytheon Missiles & Defense and RAFAEL have formed a joint venture called Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems, which will manufacture the Iron Dome systems in the United States. The two companies estimate that by the end of 2020 they will complete the selection of the production site. It will be the only production facility outside Israel that is capable of producing complete systems.

The director of Raytheon’s missile defense division, Sam Dunck, said the facility would allow the United States Army to equip and supply the systems to the United States’ allies. The new site will also produce Tamir interceptor missiles used by Israel, as well as SkyHunter interceptor missiles, which are the American version of Tamir. Both are designed to intercept cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, rockets, mortar shells, artillery shells and other short-range air threats.

More than 2,500 operational interceptions

The Iron Dome system is considered to be the most common missile defense system in the world. Since its inception in 2011 it has managed to reach a 90% success rate and perform more than 2,500 operational interceptions. Raytheon reported that in its estimation, Israel is currently protected by 10 Iron Dome batteries, which include a radar system in the field, several launch stations and several dozen Tamir missiles in each of them.

Tamir missiles are capable of hitting an approaching threat from a distance of 4-70 km. These are electro-optical domesticated missiles and navigation fins that maneuver their way to the target and blow up a explosive device using a command from a proximity thunderbolt. Raphael launches the SkyHunter interceptor missile, to increase the production and supply capacity of missiles.

Rafael's mobile launcher launches the Tamir interception missile
Rafael’s mobile launcher launches the Tamir interception missile

The collaboration between Rafael and Raytheon in the field of missile defense began ten years ago. Ties tightened last year when the U.S. military announced it was interested in purchasing two Iron Dome batteries to temporarily close a gap in defense. In August 2019, the United States ordered Raphael two Iron Dome systems for the Army to be deployed in different parts of the world.

Exactly today (Tuesday) the two Oshkosh trucks will arrive in Israel on the flight, which will be used for the systems of the American army. In the multi-layered defense model against ballistic missiles, the Iron Dome system provides the lowest protection shell. Raytheon said it is also collaborating with Raphael in the field of David’s Sling System, which is designed to provide protection against higher threats.

Overseas production strategy

Rafael is owned by the state, and paid it a dividend of half a billion shekels at the beginning of the year. In 2019, its sales totaled about $ 2.7 billion and the backlog amounted to about $ 7.2 billion. Overseas production is part of Rafael’s broad strategy designed to produce systems in the target countries, as well as a product of demand coming from different countries gifting security procurement agreements in the component of domestic production.

For example, in November 2019, Raphael received an order from the German army to supply several thousand spike missiles and several hundred launchers for the missiles. The order is placed through Eurospike, a European company jointly owned by Rafael, Rheinmetall Electronics and Diehl Defense, which also manufactures missiles in Germany.

Posted in categories: News, Aviation and Security, Israeli Industry

Posted in tags: Iron Dome, Raytheon, Raphael

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