Ukraine has yet to use Iron Dome defense systems, included in the Ukraine aid from the U.S., against Russian attacks as the invasion continues.
There is an Iron Dome ready for deployment should Ukraine request it, an American general told U.S. senators last week.
Iron Dome is an all-weather air weather defense system designed to intercept short range rockets and artillery shells.
At a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces meeting hearing testimony on missile defense activities, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) asked why the Iron Dome air-defense system was not being used in Ukraine considering that the U.S. provided financial assistance to Israel to develop it.
“We helped pay for it. We sent something like $3 billion to Israel to develop it,” King said. “Wouldn’t this be a very important resource for the Ukrainians since their principal problem right now is missile defense?”
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John F. Plumb responded by saying that he was not aware that the U.S. was supplying Ukraine with the Iron Dome. Lt.-Gen. Daniel Karbler, head of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, pointed out that the U.S. has two Iron Dome batteries, with one currently available.
“The army does have one [Iron Dome battery] available for deployment if we get a request from it,” Karbler said.
The Iron Dome was developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, with the U.S. providing financial assistance for the project to the tune of $2.6 billion over the years. Israel would need to give permission for the U.S. to supply Ukraine with its Iron Dome technology.
These weapons are normally used by the Israeli Defense forces in the event of rocket attacks happening. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the U.S. defense company, Raytheon, partnered in developing the AIM-9X Sidewinder.
Iron Dome has been instrumental in protecting Israeli civilians against terrorists’ rockets from over the border.
In the recent conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad in which nearly 1,500 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, Iron Dome intercepted 95% of rockets on their way to populated areas, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel has met with both the Russian and Ukrainian governments as the relationships have become more complex over time. This also include mediating between governments that failed up Naftali Bennett’s government.
“We needed to make sure we are operating under a clear mandate from the U.S. and the E3 — France, Germany and the U.K. Bennett was serious about it. We didn’t want this to be a PR stunt,” Eyal Hulata, a former Israeli national security advisor who was in talks at the time to prevent the war from happening.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is currently meeting with U.K. Prime Minister in the request for more aid from the western countries.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate