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U.S. Military To Buy Israeli Iron Dome Missile-Defense System

An Iron Dome defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is deployed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, November 12, 2018

The U.S. military has announced plans to buy the Iron Dome missile-defense system that Israel has been using since 2011.

The Pentagon said on February 6 that the system, which employs radar and interceptor missiles to combat incoming threats, will be used at first on a test basis.

"The Iron Dome will 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," U.S. Army Colonel Patrick Seiber said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the sale was a "great achievement for the country."

"This is another manifestation of the deepening of our steadfast alliance with the United States, and an expression of Israel's rising status in the world," Netanyahu said in a statement.

The Iron Dome system targets incoming short-range rockets and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them in the air. It works in all weather and is easily transportable, with just a few hours needed to relocate and set up.

Israeli officials claim it has a success rate of up to 90 percent.

It has been heavily used to intercept missiles fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.

The United States has already heavily subsidized the system's development, which cost billions of dollars, and some of its components already come from U.S. firms.

Based on reporting by BBC, CNN,