The Armed Services Committee of the US Congress announced a proposal aimed at increasing the funding to Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket active defense program. A congressional aide stated that the committee would seek the approval of $680 million for the system’s continued development and deployment, beginning with the current fiscal year up through 2015.
This sum will be in addition to the $205 million special budgetary request previously authorized in 2011 by the Obama administration and the US Congress. The request was approved to aid in funding Israel’s development of the Iron Dome program.
The committee’s announcement follows the Pentagon’s statement regarding its intention to request that Congress approve the transfer of supplementary funds to Israel, to aid in its procurement of additional Iron Dome batteries.
As previously reported on IsraelDefense, the US Department of Defense stated that Israel’s existing batteries were of crucial significance during last month’s escalation, and that Israel and the Pentagon had discussed increasing US foreign aid in order to obtain more systems.
Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, met with US officials in recent weeks, including US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the heads of the US intelligence services, and senior officials from the National Security Council.
The development and success of the Iron Dome system has resulted with the system establishing itself as a vital component in Israel’s defense, especially over the past few months. It has also met increased global interest due to its higher-than-anticipated success rate at intercepting projectiles.
The previous round of fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip in March saw the launch of more than 300 rockets towards Israel’s southern region and cities. With the deployment of three operational batteries, the system achieved a success rate of 80% at intercepting targeted rockets. Israeli officials have stated that additional batteries would be needed in order to ensure that the system offer full coverage over all of Israel.