According to a US official and a congressional aide, the Pentagon intends to return the two Iron Dome missile defense systems it previously bought from Israel to that nation in order to defend itself against incoming missiles.
According to the US official and the congressional aide who spoke to Reuters, the Department of Defense informed Congressmen during a briefing on Wednesday that it intended to lease the Iron Dome systems back to Israel. Under this kind of financial agreement, the buyer retains ownership.
The congressional staffer stated that the return to Israel may happen in a few days.
The Pentagon had been considering and testing the systems as a way to defend the territory of Guam from Chinese missiles.
The White House on Monday said it expected to fulfill additional security requests from Israel as quickly as possible. Biden promised replenishment of interceptors used by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system as well as ammunition in addition to redoubling the US military presence in the region.
State-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems developed Iron Dome with support from the United States to counter rocket fire from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas assumed control in 2007, and from Lebanon, which struck Israeli communities during the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah. It started running in 2011.
During a weekend of intense warfare in Gaza, Israel claimed that its Iron Dome interceptor had intercepted 97% of the Palestinian rockets fired at it. This was in August of 2022.