The Canadian military signed a deal Wednesday to buy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense technology, according to a statement from Canada’s Department of National Defense. The military will primarily use the system when deployed in conflict zones around the world and is expecting to take delivery in 2017.
“Much like Israel’s successful Iron Dome radar technology, the Medium Ranger Radar system will be able to instantly track enemy fire aimed at Canadian Armed Forces personnel and help keep them safe during operations,” said Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney in the statement.
Israel’s Iron Dome, which was first used by the Israeli Defense Force in 2011, has been the subject of praise and criticism for its role in the 2014 conflict with Hamas in Palestinian territory. Physicist Theodore Postol, a professor of science technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an analysis that the Iron Dome has a success rate of less than 5 percent, and the primary reasons for fewer casualties was the abundance of shelters nearby and the early warning system.
However, during that same conflict, the government claimed that the Iron Dome had a success rate of around 90 percent over 50 days.
Canadian defense manufacturer Rheinmetall Canada Inc., which won the contract worth $243.3 million for 10 medium-range missile systems, will work closely with the Israeli Aerospace Industries to apply the Israeli-made technology to the Canadian hardware.
The new system will be capable of tracking “airborne threats,” following “hostile, indirect fire,” finding enemy positions as well as calculating the “point of impact of a projectile,” according to the Defense Department.
“The system is flexible enough to meet a wide range of missions. It is air transportable, is highly mobile and is rapidly deployable,” the statement read. “In addition, it can work day and night under all weather conditions to generate a real-time understanding of air traffic above a battlefield.”