The defense ministry of Cyprus has approved the purchase of an Israeli Iron Dome air defense system for the country’s national guard, according to Greek daily Kathimerini.

The outlet reported that an agreement has been signed by Israeli and Cypriot officials but did not disclose information regarding the deal’s value or the delivery date.

Cyprus reportedly considers the purchase from its regional ally Israel an ideal addition for both air defense and to counter the threat of Turkish drones in the face of ongoing tensions in the Mediterranean.

Kathimerini reported that the head of the National Guard, Lt. Gen. Dimokritos Zervakis, inspected the system during a visit to Israel in March. Kathimerini English Edition later reported that sources confirmed that the equipment to be bought “would not be the full Iron Dome package.” 

Instead, the purchase “would include an anti-drone defense apparatus that could also work within Cyprus’ Russian-made Tor-M1 and Buk-M1 air defense systems.”

The Iron Dome Air Defense System

First deployed in 2011, the Iron Dome air defense system is a mobile, towed platform designed to protect against short-range rockets, cruise missiles, artillery, and mortar attacks from fixed or semi-fixed locations. 

It is a primary Israel Defense Forces system proven effective against short-range rockets from the Gaza Strip “credited with saving hundreds of lives” according to The Times of Israel.

With an effective range of up to 70 kilometers (43 miles), the system would seemingly be ideal for Cyprus, as one Iron Dome battery could cover the entire island.

The platform is also in use with the US Army, which tested the system recently for defense against cruise missiles.

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