JERUSALEM Aug 10 South Korea is interested in
buying the Israeli short-range rocket interceptor Iron Dome, its
manufacturer said on Sunday.
Iron Dome, which uses guided missiles to shoot down the
Katyusha-style rockets favoured by Palestinian and Lebanese
guerrillas, has scored around a 90 percent success rate in the
month-old Gaza war, Israeli officials and U.S. observers say.
Yedidia Yaari, CEO of Iron Dome's state-owned manufacturer
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., said the system's
performance had fuelled foreign interest in buying it, including
by South Korea, which is in an armed standoff with North Korea.
"It is very worried not only about rockets, but other things
as well ... You can certainly include them in the club of
interested countries," Yaari told Israel's Army Radio, saying
Rafael representatives had visited Seoul to promote Iron Dome.
Yaari did not give details on how advanced such a deal with
South Korea may be. Rafael has not made public any foreign sales
so far, saying it was giving priority to supplying Iron Domes to
Israel, which has fielded nine out of a planned total of 12
Washington has extensively funded the Israeli deployment and
supplies of interceptor missiles. Defence industry sources
estimate that each Iron Dome battery costs around $50 million
and each interceptor missile between $30,000 and $50,000.
Also participating in Iron Dome's production are Israeli
defence contractors Elisra Group and Israel Aerospace Industries
The system uses some components made by U.S. defense contractor
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller, Larry