Israel unveiled a new version of its “Iron Dome” defence shield on Tuesday that it says is now capable of intercepting drones, missiles and rockets simultaneously.
In service for nearly a decade to protect Israel from rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, Iron Dome is credited with helping Israel to maintain military supremacy over its neighbours.
“The Iron Dome was tested in a range of complex scenarios and successfully intercepted and destroyed targets simulating existing and emerging threats,” said Defence Minister Benny Gantz.
The threats included “the simultaneous interception of multiple UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) as well as a salvo of rockets and missiles,” he said in a statement.
“The new version of the Iron Dome system will be delivered to the IAF (Israeli Air Force) and the navy for operational use and will strengthen Israel’s multi-tier missile defence capabilities,” said Gantz.
Iron Dome was formally selected as Israel’s missile defence system in 2007, the same year the Islamist group Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.
It was originally designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of four to 70 kilometres (three to 45 miles).
The Israeli Air Force has operated it since 2011, thwarting hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza and Syria.