Israeli Navy Tests C-Dome – the Naval Version of the Iron Dome Air Defense System

On February 21, the Israeli Ministry of Defense reported that it had successfully tested the C-Dome system, the naval version of the Iron Dome air defense missile system, against multiple targets for the first time by integrating it into a Sa’ar-6 corvette.

These tests, which were overseen by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, were conducted on Israel’s first Sa’ar 6 class corvette, INS Magen, which was delivered to Israel by German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems on 2 December, 2020. Advanced targets including rockets, cruise missiles, and UAVs were among the targets eliminated in the live fire tests. The C-Dome successfully eliminated all of the targets, and the system’s live-fire tests were completed.

“This live fire test is an important milestone that demonstrates the operational capability of the Israeli Navy to defend the strategic assets and vital interests of the State of Israel against current and emerging threats,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“I congratulate our collaborating institutions,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said. “The systems that we are developing as part of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array enable us to operate against Iranian proxies in the region and defend against their weapon systems, which are constantly being upgraded,” he added.

The C-Dome system, developed in collaboration with Rafael Defense and affiliated Israeli Ministry of Defense organizations, is based on the Iron Dome defense system. The system, which was first exhibited at Euronaval 2014, was tested in 2017 aboard the Israeli Navy’s INS Lahav, Sa’ar 5 class corvette.

The C-Dome was designed to defend warships against a wide range of modern threats. Short-range rockets and artillery munitions fired from 4 to 70 kilometers can be neutralized by the system. C-DOME is made up of three components, according to Rafael: TAMIR interceptors, a modular Vertical-Launch Unit (VLU), and a Command & Control (C2) component. The system eliminates the need for a specialized radar by using the vessel’s surveillance radar to detect and track threats.

The C-Dome system, which is set to be integrated into the SA’AR 6 class corvettes, the country’s most advanced ship to date, aims to help protect strategically important resources such as oil and natural gas production in the Mediterranean, which supplies 80 percent of Israel’s energy needs, from possible attacks by Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations based in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

With a C-Dome air defense system and its other offensive and defensive systems, the SA’AR 6 is a very well-armed vessel for her size. For air defense, the corvette is outfitted with 16 to 32 Barak 8 long-range air defense missiles and the C-Dome air defense system, as well as 1 Oto Melara 76 mm naval gun, 2 Rafael Tyhpoon remote-controlled weapon systems, 16 Gabriel V anti-ship missiles for surface warfare and 2 torpedo launchers for anti-submarine warfare.