Israel to purchase more Iron Dome systems

April 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM
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JERUSALEM, April 13 (UPI) -- The Israeli army says it plans to buy an additional battery of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system within six months and others by the end of 2012.

The decision to buy one more battery this year and three more next year was prompted by the increased threat of rocket fire into southern Israel from Gaza, Channel Ten reported Tuesday night.

In recent weeks, the army deployed two Iron Dome batteries outside Ashkelon and Beersheba to intercept incoming rockets from Gaza. The batteries intercepted eight missiles fired at the two Israeli cities.

The decision was part of the army's assessment of threats Israel will be confronted with in coming years, the TV station said.

Military officials believe Israel will be forced to contend with a multi-front conflict, citing not just the Gaza Strip but also threats stemming from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Channel Ten said. It is also unclear what the future Egyptian government's policy will be toward Israel.

Meanwhile, the Israel air force is examining the possibility of purchasing a used squadron of F-15 fighter jets from the United States after delays in a $2.75 billion deal to purchase 20 advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets, the report said.

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