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US Army stands up two Iron Dome batteries at Fort Bliss for AMD testing

Iron Dome
Photo: US Army

The US Army has activated two Iron Dome batteries at Fort Bliss, Texas, to test the possibility of integrating the Israeli-built system into the service’s air-and missile defense network.

The activation was announced by the US Army on November 14, after the first battery was officially delivered to the service in September this year.

According to Defense News, the army will convert a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery along other resource realignments to stand up the two batteries.

The US Army expects to start testing of the two Iron Dome batteries next year, as the short-range air defense systems arrive in December 2020 and February 2021.

One of the primary goals of the testing will be to the test the integration of Iron Dome into the army’s Integrated Battle Command System. IBCS will provide the army with an integrated command-and-control system, capable of blending current and future air and missile defense sensors and weapon systems under a unified network.

As explained earlier by Gen. John M. Murray, Army Futures Command commanding general, the army still needs to see if it is possible to integrate it into the army’s integrated air and missile defense, or AIAMD, framework. The marines have demonstrated possible interoperability of the system — but interoperability is much different from being integrated, Gibson noted.

Iron Dome is a truck-towed, multi-mission mobile air defense system developed to counter very short-range rockets, artillery and mortar threats.