Israel expands missile defense system with new interceptor
Jan 19, 2017, 00:15
In face of the growing missile threats to Israel, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) transferred the operational Arrow-3 interceptors to the Israeli Air Force, putting it one step closer to implementation.
The Israeli Air Force received its first Arrow 3 missile defense system on Wednesday, a little over a year after its first real-world test, the Defense Ministry said. The new interceptor offers longer-range, higher-altitude (exo-atmospheric) and more precise ballistic missile engagements.
Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich, the head of IDF Aerial Defense Command, said that together the systems would give Israel a protective umbrella, countering threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah and terror groups in Gaza firing short-range missiles.
Under development since 2008, the Arrow-3 achieved an initial exoatmospheric intercept test success in December 2015.
"The missile here, behind me, once sat on my drafting table". Arrow 3 missiles will fly into space, where their warheads detach to become "kamikaze" satellites that track and slam into their targets. Gen. Zvika Yachimovitch, Israeli Aerospace Industries Vice President and Head of the Missile and Space program Boaz Levy.
The Arrow 3 is one part of a multi-layered missile defense system, created to protect Israel from short-, medium- and long-range attacks. The as-yet-to be deployed David's Sling is created to intercept medium-range missiles.
With the Arrow 3 system declared operational, Israel and the United States may now be the only countries capable of shooting down ballistic missiles in space.
Both Arrow-3 and Arrow-2 interceptors are supported by a common AWS, which includes the Super Green Pine radar by IAI's Elta Systems, and the Citron Tree Battle Management Center and Hazelnut Tree Launcher Control Center by Elbit Systems. The ministry says the addition of Arrow-3 will "significantly reduce" the possibility of ballistic missiles hitting Israel.
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