A sea-based version of Israel’s acclaimed Iron Dome anti-missile defense system completed a series of complex offshore tests simulating threats that are likely to be faced by the Israeli Navy, the Israel Defense Forces, Rafael Advanced Systems and Defense Ministry announced Monday. The so-called “C-Dome” was operated by crew members for the first time Monday aboard the Israeli Naval Ship (INS) Saar 6 ‘Magen’ Corvette against multiple advanced threats. The test campaign consisted of several scenarios simulating advanced threats, including rockets, cruise missiles, and UAVs. The ‘C-Dome’ is capable of successfully intercepting all such threats.
The ‘C-Dome’ onboard missile defense system is based on the Iron Dome defense system developed by Rafael, with the command-and-control system developed by mPrest. The test “demonstrates the operational capability of the Israeli Navy to defend the strategic assets and vital interests of the State of Israel against current and evolving threats,” the ministry added. ‘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 defense array, including the Arrow and David’s Sling systems. The development of ‘C-Dome’ was led by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
In October 2014, Rafael unveiled a naval version of the Iron Dome called C-Dome. It is designed to protect vessels in blue and littoral waters from the ballistic trajectory and direct attack weapons fired in saturation attacks. C-Dome includes a 10-round canister loaded with vertically-launched Tamir interceptors for 360-degree coverage, a feature not supported by the land-based Iron Dome system; the ship’s surveillance radar is used to negate the need for a dedicated fire control radar. The system has a small footprint to enable installation on small ships like offshore patrol vessels, corvettes, and even stationary oil rigs.
Though in the very early stages of concept development, Rafael estimated that it could take less than a year to build a prototype C-Dome system. Preliminary discussions with potential users have already been launched. The C-Dome will be used on the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes. On 18 May 2016 Col. Ariel Shir, head of Israeli Naval operation systems announced that the system had successfully intercepted and destroyed a salvo of short-range missiles while deployed on a naval vessel at sea. On 27 November 2017, the Israeli military declared initial operational capability for the C-Dome, completing more than 18 months of integration and design work.