Israeli Navy’s C-Dome air defence system achieves first operational intercept

By Arie Egozi

The C-Dome naval version of the Israeli-developed Iron Dome air defence system has scored its first operational intercept. The system, deployed on an Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 6 missile corvette sailing in the Red Sea. The system, according to the Israeli defence forces, intercepted an unmanned system flying in the direction of Eilat, the Israeli city on the Red Sea.

 

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

 

 

The Sa’ar 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 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 that incorporates new and advanced technologies.

 

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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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