Israel’s military ordering more Iron Dome defense systems


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s military is ordering four more Iron Dome missile defense systems, which successfully deployed during recent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces said Monday that it would order the batteries from the Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems at a cost of up to $80 million each. The units reportedly will be delivered in a year-and-a-half and be ready for immediate use.

Funding for the new defense batteries, which intercepted all of the rockets in its coverage area in recent Gaza terrorist activity, is slated to come from an extra security aid allocation from the United States. The military aid, $3 billion for 2011, plus an additional $205 million for Iron Dome, has been tied up for five months due to a budget impasse in Washington.

President Obama is scheduled to sign the 2011 budget bill, which includes the aid to Israel, later this week.

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