Raytheon Missiles and Defense and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have signed a joint venture to build an Iron Dome air defense system production facility in the United States, the companies announced today.
The new partnership, called Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems, expects to choose a site location before the end of the year.
"We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our U.S. production," Pini Yungman, executive vice president for air and missile defense at Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, said in a statement.
The new facility will produce both the Iron Dome Weapon System, which consists of the Tamir interceptor and launcher, and the SkyHunter missile, a U.S. derivative of Tamir, according to the press release.
"Both Tamir and SkyHunter intercept incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems and short-range targets such as rockets, artillery, mortars and other aerial threats," the release states.
"This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure," said Sam Deneke, vice president of land warfare & air defense business execution for Raytheon Missiles and Defense.
The Army has yet to announce final plans for how it will deploy the Iron Dome system, following its announcement last year that it would acquire two batteries as an interim capability.