Rafael – Raytheon | Construction of missile manufacturing facility for the Iron Dome
Defence Redefined
Published on 31/10/2023 at 10:57

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, together with Raytheon, will build a manufacturing facility in Arkansas to produce the Tamir missile of the Iron Dome system and its US variant, SkyHunter.

Through the established Raytheon-Rafael Area Protection Systems joint venture, the companies have committed to a $33 million capital investment to establish the new facility. Once operational, the facility will produce missiles for the US Marine Corps and other allied partners.

Raytheon and Rafael have teamed for over a decade on Iron Dome, which has more than 5,000 operational intercepts and a success rate exceeding 90%. The US version of the Iron Dome missile Tamir, SkyHunter, is a medium-range air defence missile designed to counter a range of threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery, and mortars with an operational range of up to 70 km. 

Also read: I-Dome | The innovative, mobile version of Iron Dome

The joint venture plans to break ground on the new facility before the end of the year with the intent to begin missile production in 2025.

The Iron Dome system rose to prominence in Israel, where for years it has been (and is) a key part of a multi-layered air defence designed to protect it from missile, rocket, mortar, and UAV attacks with high marks from the Israeli military, though it has strained to some degree its stockpile during and since the October 7 barrages from Hamas.

The US Marines are oriented to use a truck-mounted Iron Dome launcher with SkyHunter missiles for part of what’s called their Medium Range Intercept Capability (MRIC) program.

MRIC is a rapid prototyping effort, serving as a short-to-medium range air defence system that fills a crucial capability gap in the Indo-Pacific’s operational theatre. 

The US Army also owns two Iron Dome batteries and officials said earlier this week they would be sending them back to Israel to aid its self-defence.

Also read: Delivery of the first Iron Dome battery to the US Army – VIDEO




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