A ministerial committee approved on Wednesday (Apr. 13) the request of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to purchase four additional Iron Dome anti-rocket laptop batteries. The batteries are expected to be operational within a year and a half and two years.
Government ministers were updated on the operational trial that the Iron Dome system is currently undergoing in southern Israel as well as the possibility of introducing a third Iron Dome battery by the end of 2011.
So far, two Iron Dome batteries have been deployed in the south as part of the operational trial. Since last week, soldiers operating the Iron Dome system have successfully intercepted eight rockets Toshiba PA3420U-1BAS fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Additionally, BMZ USA will import lithium ion batteries from Asia to assemble, and will assemble and distribute finished goods to North American customers.
Defense Minister Barak called Wednesday's approval of the four additional batteries as an "important step." He said that, upon its full implementation, the Iron Dome system would have a profound influence on the tools of war and the durability of the home front.
a subsidiary of German BMZ GmbH, a battery pack assembly firm, will locate its U.S. headquarters in Toshiba PA3450U-1BRS Virginia Beach, Virginia. The company will invest $500,000 in the expansion. It will handle North American operations for its lithium ion batteries. The project could create up to 50 jobs by the end of the year.
"After carefully researching several states on the East Coast, we decided to locate BMZ USA in Virginia," said Sven Bauer, managing director of BMZ GmbH. "Virginia Beach was especially attractive because of its large community of international companies, some with which we already have business relationships.
The proximity to the international port, infrastructure, abundance of qualified personnel, and the assistance from the economic development office helped us finalize our decision." Toshiba PA3451U-1BRS
Also on Wednesday, President Shimon Peres visited Kibbutz Erez, near the Gaza Strip, and met with the driver of the school bus that was attacked last week by an anti-tank missile fired by terrorists.
"The more they try to hit us, we will get stronger and prevail," Peres said.Peres praised the success of the Iron Dome system, saying he was "proud that Israel is the only country that has found an answer to rocket fire."