Tests of the new missile system were carried out on 18th January over the central part of Israel. The tests simulated dealing with a barrage of ballistic missiles fired at Israel.
“The operational radar system of the ‘arrow’ system discovered the target and passed its data to the missile launch centre, which analyzed the data and carried out a full plan to intercept it,” said an official from the Israeli Ministry of Defense. “Upon completion of the planning, two ‘Arrow 3’ interceptors were launched at the targets,” they said.
Defense officials said the experiment involved the launch of two interceptor missiles for the first time. “The interception and the explosion were deep in space. This is the first time that two Arrow 3 interceptor missiles came out together, and this is the expression of the main improvement of Arrow 3. The warheads of the target missiles, from the Sparrow family, simulate all kinds of threats to the State of Israel,” said the official.
He further said that the system’s test capabilities were expanded after the series of experiments conducted in Alaska.
The Arrow weapon system is considered a key component of Israel’s multi-layer defense system. The array also includes Iron Dome system and a magic wand system or David’s Sling system. The Ministry of Defense noted that yesterday’s experiment was part of the defense system’s multi-year development plan. “The success of the experiment is an important milestone in the operational ability of the State of Israel to defend itself against existing and future threats in the arena from various threat circles,” it was reported.
The Israeli Air Force participated in the tests.
Israel had conducted a series of tests for the Arrow 3 weapon system in 2019.
According to the Israeli military, the Arrow 3 or Hetz-3 is the most advanced Israeli long-range missile defense system designed to intercept ballistic missiles. The air defense system was developed by Israel jointly with the United States. The developers include the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. This, by the way, is not the first example of successful cooperation between the Israeli and American military industries.
Arrow-4 anti-ballistic missile system
Israel is currently developing an even more advanced Arrow-4 system. According to the announcement by the Israeli MoD in 2021, “Arrow 4” will be the next generation in the missile array of the “Arrow” weapons system, which currently includes the “Arrow 2” and “Arrow 3” interceptors. The next generation of advanced interceptors will be upgraded and is expected to address a “wide range of future threats”. Arrow 4 will replace Arrow 2 interceptors in the coming decades.
Moshe Fattal, the head of Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Israel Ministry of Defense stated that the development of ‘Arrow 4’ is initiated at a symbolic time, 30 years after the Gulf War, following which IMDO was established and launched a joint missile defense program for Israel and the United States. He said it is the most advanced missile in the world, with four proven operational layers. “We continue to look forward to the next threats and capabilities. Arrow 4 will have exceptional flight and interception capabilities, and they will ensure that Israel is always one step ahead of its enemies,” he said.
The Arrow system
Arrow System consists of a powerful radar detection system – “Green Pine” and “Mighty Pine” – developed and manufactured by IAI’s Elta Division, command and control systems, firing management developed by Elbit Systems, and a launch and interceptor system by IAI.
Boeing, TOMER and Rafael are the main subcontractors for the development and production of the Arrow 3 interceptor. RAFAEL designs and develops the target.
“Arrow 2” has been operational since 2000 and serves as a protective layer at the edge of the atmosphere, while “Arrow 3”, which was delivered for operational use in 2017, is an exo-atmospheric (out-of-atmosphere) interceptor that forms the upper protective layer, at enormous heights and distances from Israel.
In recent years, the two interceptors have undergone a series of improvements and have demonstrated high operational capability in a series of successful interception experiments in Israel and Alaska.
The country’s defense ministry argues that the development of missile defense systems is a necessity amid the growing activity of Iran. The constant threat from the Islamic Republic forces Israel to pay increased attention to the development of anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems.
Earlier, Israel announced its intention to export Hetz-3 systems. Seoul, among others, showed interest in such air defense systems.