Ship-Mounted Variant Of Iron Dome Scores First Operational Interception


The main image shows a C-Dome during a test in 2022. The box shows the suspected drone shot down on Apr. 8, 2024. (IDF)

A ship-mounted Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a suspected drone that entered Israeli airspace Eilat last night. The interception marked the first-ever operational use of the variant known as C-Dome.

In the night between Apr. 8 and 9, 2024, a drone that had entered the Israeli airspace near Eilat, in the southern part of the country, was intercepted by a ship-mounted variant of the Iron Dome, the C-Dome, deployed aboard an Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes.

According to the IDF, the target was tracked by the Navy before it was shot down with the C-Dome in what was the first operational use of the system.

According to the IDF, the suspected drone had flown into Israeli airspace from the eastern direction, in an area were several drone attacks were reportedly carried out by an Iran-backed group in Iraq. For this reason, IDF missile boats including Sa’ar 6-class corvettes have been positioned in the Red Sea and have both the defensive and offensive capabilities to engage with regional threats.


Produced by Rafael, C-DOME ensure full-circular vessel protection and high kill probability against a full spectrum of modern threats – maritime and coastal. C-DOME comprises three components: TAMIR interceptors, a modular Vertical-Launch Unit (VLU), and a Command & Control (C2) component. Utilizing the vessel’s surveillance radar to detect and track threats, it eliminates the need for a dedicated radar.

It is intended for the lowest layer of the Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense system and, like its more famous ground version, is said to be capable of downing rockets, cruise missiles, and drones. It was declared operational in November 2022.

The middle-tier is the David’s Sling system, which got its baptism of fire in May 2023, when it shot down a rocket from the Gaza Strip during a five-day clash between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.

The longest-range systems are the Arrow, designed to intercept large ballistic missiles, and the US-made Patriot system, which is used to shoot down aircraft.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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