Has any Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) successfully intercepted and shot down a missile in combat? Surely they have had the chance to, for example Phalanx systems were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. But besides mortar shells, are there any confirmed successful intercepts against rockets and missiles?

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    I added the "in combat" qualifier from your question body to the title - I can't say definitively, but I'm pretty sure that there would have been many trials in combat-like conditions, but you do qualify the question to be specifically "combat" and not combat-like – user13123 May 29 '17 at 4:39
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    Welcome to History:Stack Exchange. Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like many other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions. – MCW Sep 19 '20 at 17:29
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    Note that while we think of the iconic Phalanx CIWS, a CIWS does not have to be based on a gun, nor does it have to be on a ship. When on land it's called C-RAM. It's a "point-defense weapon system for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses". "Short-range" is subjective. If the OP means specifically gun-based, ship-borne CIWS, they should clarify. – Schwern Sep 21 '20 at 18:16
  • Bham Bass's answer appears to fit, but if you want to provide evidence of research you could firstly go through a list of CIWS and C-RAM (e.g. on Wikipedia) to see if any have been used, and secondly for naval systems look at the very short list of naval battles since c. 1990 (basically US-Iraq, the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, and some skirmishes in Korea) and see if any have involved CIWS (apparently not). This strongly points towards Iron Dome as the main example. – Stuart F Sep 23 '20 at 10:57

Although both the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), and its land-based counterpart Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar, (C-RAM) have both been deployed in combat zones, I can find no record of either system being used to defend against an actual attack by rockets or missiles.

There was an incident during the 1991 Gulf War where the Phalanx CIWS engaged what was believed to be an Iraqi Silkworm missile, but that turned out to be a false alarm.

(A few weeks earlier, HMS Gloucester had used a Sea Dart missile to shoot down an Iraqi Silkworm missile that was targeting the battleship USS Missouri. This is believed to be the first successful missile vs. missile engagement at sea in combat).

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    seagulls, on the other hand ... – KorvinStarmast May 30 '17 at 17:22

I witnessed the Israeli Iron Dome system, a missile-based C-RAM (ie. CIWS on land), working very well against rocket attacks. In 2015 I was in Israel working on a project near Tel Aviv. Rockets were being fired from Gaza regularly. The Iron Dome worked perfectly several times during the 3 months that I was there. The system would not fire an interceptor missile unless it determined that the rocket's trajectory was towards a populated area. Many of them just exploded harmlessly in the desert.

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    Are these missles considered as being part of a CIWS? – KillingTime Sep 19 '20 at 17:08
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    @KillingTime Yes, CIWS does not have to be a gun. CIWS is "a point-defense weapon system for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses". Iron Dome is a missle-based CIWS. – Schwern Sep 21 '20 at 18:10
  • Iron Dome seems to be the best-attested example of a system that can shoot down missiles. According to Wikipedia there is dispute over whether the Russian Pantsir has ever successfully destroyed any missiles (while deployed in Syria it came up against NATO missiles, and NATO say it didn't hit any but the Russians say it did). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir_missile_system – Stuart F Sep 23 '20 at 11:03

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