The U.S. military received its first of two Israeli-made Iron Dome batteries on Wednesday, a year after Washington signed a deal to procure the missile defense system.
A "symbolic event" marking the delivery was held at the Iron Dome production line at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the main contractor in the development and production of the system, according to a Defense Ministry statement.
The system will be used "in the defense of U.S. troops against a variety of ballistic and aerial threats," the statement said.
The U.S. army said in February of 2019 that it planned to buy a limited number of Iron Dome batteries to "be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also serving as defense minister at the time of the deal, then called it a "great achievement for Israel" and "further proof of our solid bond with the U.S., as well of Israel's rising status in the world."
In late 2017, the system was on display at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. army, a professional association for officers, and Pentagon officials for the first reportedly expressed interest in buying it.
Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, the system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells and has been in use by the Israel Defense Forces since 2011.