US agrees to send two Iron Dome batteries to Israel

The US has agreed to send two Iron Dome batteries from the US to Israel, a defense official and US official told CNN on Wednesday.

It’s unclear if the batteries, owned by the US Army, have already been shipped. The US Army and Israel signed an agreement for the US to procure two Iron Dome batteries in 2019, according to the Army, and they were delivered in 2020.

The batteries from US stocks are in addition to Iron Dome interceptors the US provided from stocks already in Israel. Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters last week that interceptors from stocks “that the United States has in country have been quickly provided to Israel,” and additional interceptors would be provided “in the days ahead.”

Some background: The Iron Dome is designed to shoot down incoming projectiles. It is equipped with a radar that detects rockets and then uses a command-and-control system that quickly calculates whether an incoming projectile poses a threat or is likely to hit an unpopulated area. If the rocket does pose a threat, the Iron Dome fires missiles from the ground to destroy in the air.

Defense News was first to report the Iron Dome batteries being sent to Israel from the US.