Iron Dome - Tal Cohen
An Iron Dome battery on the outskirts of Ashkelon. Photo by Tal Cohen
Text size

The Israel Defense Forces will test deploy an Iron Dome battery at three different sites in the Tel Aviv area beginning Monday, as it prepares for the acquisition of a fourth battery of the anti-rocket system.

Three batteries have already been actively deployed in the southern cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. The deployment in Tel Aviv is intended to test the effectiveness of the battery in different areas, the IDF said.

"The Iron Dome system is in the process of operational absorption, during which a battery will be placed from time to time in different places across the country," the IDF explained in a statement.

This particular test deployment was scheduled to begin a month ago, but was postponed due to a number of factors, including the escalation of violence in Israel's south and the Gaza Strip.

Military Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi last month told participants at the Herzliya conference that some 20,000 rockets were directed at Israel at any given time.

The IDF believes that the Israeli home front will be hit by an unprecedented number of missiles in future wars.

Improvements made in the system's software and lessons learned during previous rounds of fighting resulted during the latest escalation in markedly greater operational success of Iron Dome - an 80-percent intercept rate of the Grad Katyusha s fired at populated areas in the south. But the small number of batteries means that there are gaps in the defensive umbrella they can provide.

Sources in the defense industries have said recently that they believe there has been movement in the policy of the security establishment and the Finance Ministry. Funding has been promised for four more Iron Dome batteries, mainly from the special assistance by the U.S. government to Israel.