June 19, 2012 idrw.org SOURCE : ISRAELI AIR FORCE
“Iron Dome”, the next stage: The IAF is planning on expanding the “Iron Dome” system and improving it. The second and more advanced version of the system will include advances in interception capabilities, and will respond to a wider range of threats.
“Soon, we will update the system to the Block 2 version”, says Lieutenant Colonel Shabtai Ben-Bocher, Head of the Lower Layer Wing of the Shield Administration-the division responsible for developing the needs of the Aerial Defense Formation, and for the advances and improvements of various weaponry systems. “The upgrade will allow us additional interception capabilities, and a variety of improvements that I cannot specify. Beyond that, it’s important to note that the system is upgraded on a smaller scale on an ongoing basis. The minute we discover a problem or fault, we fix it and improve immediately, such that if there were to be an escalation tomorrow, we won’t have any problems because of that small detail. In many cases, waiting until the next version is unveiled is not an option”.
One of the reasons for the need to upgrade the system, aside from the importance of development and professionalism, is that the system was developed rapidly in order to provide a response to the missile and rocket threat on southern residencies-what caused a lack of attention to small details that were not necessary at that point. As a part of the development of Block 2, all those small details will be implemented.
After the development of the second stage, which is expected to end in the middle of next year, the third stage of the system’s development (Block 3) is expected. The third stage will include the improvement of control capabilities of the system. Furthermore, the “Iron Dome” system is increasing the number of batteries, while the force is already currently working on constructing additional batteries. Additionally, more and more areas in the country are being prepared for possible activity and a rapid deployment of the system, in the case that one will be needed.