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US firm Raytheon wins $149m Iron Dome contract

Deal adds a second source for defense system’s Tamir missiles, suggests anti-rocket batteries to be expanded

Raytheon, a major American defense contractor and the world’s largest producer of guided missiles, has won an Israeli contract to supply $149.3 million in Tamir missiles, the projectiles used in Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

The Iron Dome system was jointly developed and funded by the US. It is credited by the IDF with shooting down over 700 rockets from Gaza that were headed for Israeli population centers, a “kill ratio” of about 85-90 percent of the total rockets fired at population centers. (Most of the 4,500 rockets fired from Gaza fell in uninhabited areas in Israel or, in some cases, inside Gaza.)

The contract, from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., is intended to expand Israel’s supply of Tamir missiles, according to a Raytheon press release last week.

“Iron Dome has proven itself time and again by protecting Israel’s population from incoming rockets, artillery and mortars,” said Raytheon Missile Systems president Taylor Lawrence. “The sourcing of Tamir interceptor components in the US will go a long way to ensuring sufficient volumes of available Tamir missiles for Israel’s defense.”

But it is also seen in the US as part of the adoption of Iron Dome’s Israeli-developed technology abroad.

“With more than 1,000 successful intercepts, Tamir is the only combat proven counter rocket, artillery, and mortar interceptor available for US and coalition partners today,” the press release read.

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