After the demonstrations of force and efficiency made by the Iron Dome systems to protect Israeli cities from Hamas rockets in recent months, one could reasonably expect that the joint offer of Rafael and Raytheon would be the preference of the US Army against to that of the American Dynetics to ensure close anti-aircraft protection of US Army sites as part of the Indirect Fire Protection Capacity program, or IFPC. However, it was the latter's Enduring Shield, using the expensive AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at $ 0,5m each, which was chosen to the detriment of the Iron Dome and its Tamir missile at 190.000. $, according to the Defensenews.com website. Dynetics will therefore now have to provide the first prototypes by the end of 2022 and a complete system ready for testing in 2023, so that the putting into production of the 400 planned systems can be included in the budget for the year 2024.
While this is undoubtedly a disappointment for the Iron Dome and Rafael, the US Army's decision is far from meaningless, both from an operational and economic point of view. Indeed, the new system must take place between the Shorad systems (Short Range Air Defense) under development, and the Patriot and THAAD systems which provide long-range defense against aircraft and missiles, in particular ballistic. However, the specifications presented by the US Army require a system designed above all to counter cruise missiles and medium and heavy drones, defense against rockets, artillery shells and mortars, known under the name of RAM, and the fight against light drones being, for its part, the responsibility of Shorad systems, and in particular of the new DE M-SHORAD directed energy. However, in this area, the AIM-9X is much more efficient than the Israeli Tamir, with a range and a capacity of interception and destruction perfectly suited for targets of this type.
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