Development of C-Dome air defence system continues

By Arie Egozi

In recent days during clashes with the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system has intercepted most of the rockets launched into Israel. In parallel to the upgrade of this system, Israel is continuing the development of the C-Dome, the naval version of Iron Dome air defence system.

In recent tests, the C-Dome prototype was operated from the Israeli Navy German-made Saar 6 corvette against multiple advanced threats. In these tests, the system was operated against a number of scenarios simulating advanced threats, including rockets, cruise missiles and UAVs. The ‘C-Dome’ is capable of successfully intercepting such threats.

The C-Dome naval air defence system is based on the Iron Dome defence system developed by Rafael, with the command-and-control system developed by Israeli company mPrest.

C-Dome interfaces with the Saar 6’s ‘Adir’ radar, developed by IAI’s ELTA division. It joins other advanced systems that makeup Israel’s multi-tier missile defence array, including the Arrow and David’s Sling systems.

The Saar 6 corvettes are designed to carry a combined air defence system, comprised of the Barak-8 and the C-Dome. The navy says that the use of both systems will be defined by the threat.

“In some scenarios both interceptors will be launched,” an Israeli source said.

The main mission of the Saar 6 corvettes is to protect the Israel EEZ that includes the huge gas reservoirs in the Mediterranean. These are very high in the target bank of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Barak-8 is made by Israel aerospace industries (IAI). According to the company the Barak-8 provides the ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms and munitions including aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft and sea-skimming missiles. It is based on a sophisticated missile (developed in collaboration with Rafael), state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and flexible command and control system.

The system’s radar manufactured by ELTA Systems, an IAI group and subsidiary, is a multi-mission radar, supporting air defence missions. It delivers an accurate, high-quality, real-time arena situation picture and extracts low Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets even in the toughest environmental conditions. It is a digital Active Electronic Steering Array (AESA) Radar System which incorporates new and advanced technologies.

Barak-8 can operate day and night, in all weather conditions, and successfully deals with simultaneous threats engagements, even in severe saturation scenarios.

A source said that a typical ship installation includes 4 vertical launchers each carrying 8 missiles.

The Barak-8 has an effective range of 43 miles. IAI is developing  an extended range version . This one will have an add on booster and it will give the missile a 93 miles range.

According to Rafael, C-Dome handles saturation attacks by engaging multiple targets simultaneously. Reaction time according to Rafael, is very short and enables automatic and semi-automatic engagements.

C-Dome components include a multi-round launcher assembly loaded with vertically-launched canistered interceptors. The launcher is installed under the ship’s deck.

C-Dome utilizes the ship’s own surveillance radar and does not require a dedicated Fire Control Radar. Weapon System Command and Control is seamlessly integrated with the ship’s combat management system, facilitating system operation.

Rafael says that the Interceptors are maintenance-free, and are stored in a sea-proof canister. Up to 8 interceptors can be loaded into a modular Vertical Launcher Unit.



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