Behind C-Dome: The Israeli navy's state of the art missile defense system

The C-Dome system, a naval adaptation of the Iron Dome air defense system, is designed to protect seafaring vessels and infrastructure, including offshore gas platforms, against rocket and missile assaults

For the first time, Israel deployed the C-Dome naval point defense system late Monday to intercept an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that had entered its airspace near the southern city of Eilat.
The interceptor missile was launched from a Sa'ar 6-class corvette, which had only recently been commissioned into the navy.
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Sirens warned of the danger from a drone nearing Eilat shortly before midnight after the city and its surroundings had been the target of Houthi attacks since the war in Gaza began.
The drone was tracked by the C-Dome system, a maritime counterpart to the land-based Iron Dome missile defense system, designed to protect seafaring vessels and infrastructure, including offshore gas platforms. Upon entering Israeli airspace, it was successfully intercepted and destroyed. The military reported no injuries or damage as a result of the incident.
The C-Dome naval area defense system was developed by Rafael as a maritime application of Iron Dome. According to Rafael, it enables hemispheric protection against saturation attacks from multiple directions simultaneously. The system integrates into the ship’s own radar and CMS and utilizes the combat-proven Iron Dome Tamir interceptor.
The Defense Ministry, IDF, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries conducted successful trials of the C-Dome system last May, about five months before the outbreak of the war.
During these trials, Shayetet 3 missile boat squadron troops launched interceptors at simulated existing and future threats that the Sa’ar 6-class ships might encounter during conflict, such as rockets, cruise missiles and drones.
In the trial, ship systems were integrated into the multi-layered defense array, testing new technologies to enhance the operational effectiveness of the aerial defense apparatus at sea and on land.
"The success of the trial marks another important milestone in the system's development against existing and future threats in the IDF's various theaters of operation," the military said.
The C-Dome on Sa'ar 6 ships is integrated into the national aerial defense array, which also includes the Arrow and David's Sling systems.
The first Sa'ar 6-class corvette arrived in Israel in late 2020 and entered operational service in the middle of last year. Their operational debut came with the onset of the war, during which they first struck a weapon manufacturing facility, a deployment and a Hamas naval force observation post in the Gaza Strip.
First published: 09:48, 09.04.24