Israel Takes Next Step for Naval ‘Iron Dome’; Missile Defense System A ‘Significant Leap Forward’

Test of the C-Dome naval missile defense system. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office.

Israel has successfully conducted a new round of tests for the naval “Iron Dome”-style air defense system, known as the “C-Dome”, improving a system their top military leader called a “significant leap forward” for Israel’s defenses. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a press release that the C-Dome—designed to defend Israeli ships and their maritime natural gas infrastructure—“ensures the Israeli defense establishment’s superiority and operational capabilities in the face of growing threats in the maritime arena.”

The latest tests follow operational tests in November and included intercepting rockets, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The system uses interceptor rockets to blast opposing threats out of the sky before they can harm assets at sea. The C-Dome is part of the Sa’ar 6 class “Magen” corvette defense ship program and is developed jointly between the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD), RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems and others. Executive Vice President and Head of the Land and Naval Systems Directorate at RAFAEL Dr. Ran Gozali was quoted by the press release calling the latest successful live trials of the C-Dome “another technological breakthrough led by RAFAEL.”

The latest experiment included an improvement in the existing defense systems and a proof of capability for a new anti-aircraft missile that “significantly improves” the ships’ defense network, according to Head of Material, Technology and Logistics Command Rear Admiral Ariel Shir. New radar designed to defend Israel’s natural gas infrastructure was also tested.

“These successful tests are one of the many efforts we are carrying out to improve our air and missile defense systems’ preparedness for future threats and improve system performance in the face of existing threats,” Head of the Israeli Ministry of Defense DDR&D Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Daniel Gold was quoted in the press release as saying. “The campaign’s success further strengthens our confidence in the defense systems and their ability to protect extensive areas as well as the State of Israel’s strategic assets on land and at sea.”

The need to protect ships and assets at sea has been highlighted by Iranian attacks on ships, as well other terrorist threats. Israel’s natural gas business in the Mediterranean Sea is off the northern coast and has been threatened by Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, for example.
Director of DDR&D’s Israel Missile Defense Organization Moshe Patel said in the press release that the latest C-Dome test intercepted various aerial attacks “with exceptional precision.”

“The Israeli defense establishment is constantly upgrading the Iron Dome’s capabilities on land and at sea to increase its effectiveness,” said Patel in the press release. “We continue to provide technological support for current needs, alongside development of new solutions for future threats.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 29, 2023)

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