A “new and upgraded” Iron Dome missile defense system has been successfully tested by Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and achieved a “significant milestone” in the weapon’s development—but the Israelis weren’t forthcoming with many details about what that accomplishment is. The press release put out by Israel’s Ministry of Defense only said the test campaign included “a number of scenarios simulating advanced threats with which the Iron Dome is expected to contend during times of conflict—whether on land or in the sea.”
The vague and apparently secretive tests come as Israel faces an ongoing threat from Iran, who may be motivated to launch militaristic or terrorist attacks. The Islamic Republic was outraged over the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last November, January marked one year since Iranian spymaster General Qasem Soleimani was killed by the United States, and the Iranians continue to escalate their nuclear crisis with the world powers in a blackmail effort to convince the US to alleviate sanctions.
With that in the background, Twitter posts from Israel’s Defense Ministry and Defense Minister Benny Gantz offered no additional details on the latest Iron Dome test campaign beyond the press release. However, Gantz did tweet on the tests, saying in a Hebrew post translated by Google into English: “Glad to update that we have successfully completed a complex series of experiments in an advanced version of Iron Dome. The security system will continue to be on guard around the clock and everywhere.”
A video included with the press release showed test drones being intercepted by the Iron Dome around Israel’s coast, and the press release noted that the new Iron Dome would be installed on Navy’s Sa’ar 6 corvettes and be “be central to the defense of Israel’s economic waters.”
The Times of Israel, in their coverage of the tests, said the Defense Ministry was unwilling to make additional comments about the testing targets and more detailed information about the tests. The Times of Israel report said that the Sa’ar 6 corvettes are assigned to defend Israel’s natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea.
The latest tests follow live-fire tests announced by Israel in December of the David’s Sling missile defense system and Iron Dome’s ability to intercept cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 1, 2021)