Israel intends to share data for weaving Iron Dome into US air defense

    WORLD  03 June 2023 - 02:59

    The Israeli military and the U.S. Army are taking steps to tie the Army’s two Iron Dome batteries into the service’s missile defense program of record, potentially moving the Israeli equipment away from its current status as a one-off gap filler in the U.S. inventory, according to officials from both countries.

    The Army bought two Iron Dome batteries from Israel in order to fill a gap in cruise missile defense as it develops its own indirect fire protection capability, but has stressed it won’t buy more of the stand-alone systems, partly because the Israeli government has been unwilling to turn over its proprietary source code, Defense News reports.

    But at a May 30 Center for Strategic and International Studies event, Moshe Patel, who heads the Israel Missile Defense Organization, said he believed relevant information-sharing limitations between the two countries have now been resolved.

    “I can tell you that just recently, we solved all the issues and problems that they have and we are going to give them the right solutions and whatever they need in order to integrate fully the capability of Iron Dome inside their systems,” Patel said in response to a question about whether he believed Iron Dome could be integrated into the U.S. system, as opposed to being merely interoperable.

    “More than that, we deployed two Iron Dome batteries already that we are willing to fully integrate those Iron Dome batteries into the [Integrated Battle Command System] and whatever is needed,” he added.

    The IBCS, which is the Army’s command-and-control system that will connect sensors and interceptors across the battlefield, was recently approved for full-rate production. Army officials have maintained if a system can’t connect with IBCS, it can’t be a part of the service’s emerging air-and-missile defense architecture.

    While the Army has deployed Iron Dome to Guam for a short period of time to evaluate its capability in an operational environment, it has yet to talk about how it might deploy it or any plans for the two systems in detail.

    Tom Karako, a missile defense expert at CSIS, said earlier this year that Iron Dome cannot be integrated into the Army’s future air and missile defense network until Israel provides access to the source code, with cybersecurity a major concern.

    “Unless Israel permits access to address these concerns, these two batteries will remain a standalone niche capability,” he wrote in a recent opinion piece. “As such, the Army seems to not know what to do with them.”

     

     

    Caliber.Az

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