UK told ’spend £800m now‘ building Iron Dome to protect UK | UK | News


Britain has been urged to invest in its own version of Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system to protect itself against major threats.

The UK has been urged to „prepare for all scenarios“ after Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel in a coordinated attack which could have killed or injured thousands of Israeli civilians.

However, almost all of the drones and missiles were stopped by Israel’s air defence systems with assistance from the RAF and US Air Force. The main totem of Israel’s air defence is its Iron Dome, a series of missile systems that intercept aerial threats.

Following Israel’s victory over Iran’s barrage of drones and missiles, there are now growing calls for the UK to develop and install its own version of the Iron Dome, which carries a hefty price tag of £800million.

Express.co.uk spoke to experts and politicians who discussed whether the UK should invest in the system and how the nation would currently defend itself in the event of an attack.

Conservative MP and former chairman of the Commons Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood told Express.co.uk that while the UK has a significant range of aerial countermeasures Israel’s 90 percent success rate cannot be ignored.

He said: „At present the UK maintains 24/7 surveillance of our skies with Typhoons on 30 minutes notice to move, at RAF Coningsby and Lossiemouth, to intercept any rogue presence heading towards UK air space.

“Our Type 45’s destroyers are armed with the world leading Sea Viper system (currently operating in the Red Sea), able to eliminate multiple airborne targets simultaneously. And finally, the Sky Sabre air defence system has entered service in the British Army – all combined – offering a formidable umbrella of protection.”

“However the effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defence system starkly illustrates both where modern conflict is heading, with the increasing utility of kamikaze drones, and value in having a reliable, umbrella of protection- permanently in place.”

Mr Ellwood concluded that there “is no doubt this must be considered in the UK’s forthcoming defence review”.

The Tory MP told The Telegraph: “We need to prepare for all scenarios. We need to prepare for a multitude of types of attack from the non-state to state actors. And that will require investments, absolutely, in an Iron Dome for the UK.

“This must be seen as a wake-up call. We must recognise where the world is going. We need to invest. It’s absolutely important to spend 3 per cent of GDP. How do we spend it? This is a great example.”

France 24 reported that each interceptor, which strikes an incoming threat, costs between £32,102 and £40,127.50 to make, while the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that each complete system costs £80.25m.

Israel’s Iron Dome is made up of 10 of these systems bringing the total cost to over £800m, a large investment even for an economy of the UK’s size.

Dr Anna Getmansky, Associate Professor in the International Relations department, suggested the Iron Dome may not be the way forward for the UK.

Dr Getmansky said: “The Iron Dome provides defence solutions against short-range threats, such as rockets, mortars, artillery shells, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Several countries have purchased this system, among them Azerbaijan, South Korea, India, and Singapore.”

She added: „This system responds to short-range threats, and thus is used by countries involved in territorial conflicts, or as a way to protect their troops in military operations.

“In the case of the UK, other systems might be more appropriate given that the potential ballistic threats are not short-range. For example, Germany is in the process of purchasing the Arrow 3 system that protects against long-range ballistic missiles.

“The UK needs solutions against potential ballistic and drone threats, but they are not necessarily the Iron Dome.”



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