In what Israel describes as a new era in its defence against ballistic missile threats, operational Arrow-3 interceptors have been integrated into the Israeli Air Force Aerial Defense Array for the first time. The Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) performed the transfer at a formal ceremony on 18th January. The Arrow-3 is produced by the MLM division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The Arrow Weapon System (AWS) comprises the uppermost tier in Israel’s multi-layer defence system, which also comprises the short-range Iron Dome and medium-range David’s Sling systems. The new interceptor offers longer-range, higher-altitude (exo-atmospheric) and more precise ballistic missile engagements. According to the Israeli MoD, the combined interception capabilities of the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 will significantly reduce the possibilities of ballistic missiles impacting the State of Israel.
The Arrow-3 development programme, a joint programme between Israel and the U.S., was co-managed by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and IMDO. As the major subcontractor to IAI/MLM, Boeing played a prominent role in development and production of components for the Arrow-3.
Under development since 2008, the Arrow-3 achieved an initial exoatmospheric intercept test success in December 2015.
Among other missile defence system upgrades, the Battle Management Center (produced by Elbit) and the radar detection array (IAI/ELTA) both feature enhanced capabilities.