Arrow missile-defense may be installed on new warships

The General Staff has yet to decide whether it will buy two new surface vessels, estimated to cost over $500 million, is expected to make decision within weeks.

August 5, 2011 03:11
1 minute read.
The INS Hetz

The INS Hetz navy ship boat 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The IDF is considering installing Arrow missile-defense systems on new missile ships that it might acquire under the multi-year budget plan currently under review.

The General Staff has yet to decide whether it will buy two new surface vessels, estimated to cost over $500 million, and is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

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The navy had originally decided to purchase the US Navy’s littoral combat ship, under development by Lockheed Martin, but backed away from the deal after the price soared. It is now looking into buying designs from Germany’s Blohm+Voss and to have the vessels built by Israel Shipyards, a privately owned company based in Haifa that already builds the navy’s smaller Shaldag patrol boats.

The thinking behind the installation of Arrow missiles on navy ships is the ability to make the missile-defense system mobile and to deploy it even far from the country in the event of a conflict. It would also enable the country to ensure survivability of key capabilities in the event that the ground-based systems are damaged.

Industry sources said that the Arrow, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing Company, could be deployed on ships. One of the first tests of the system was done from a platform at sea.

The US Navy already operates ships equipped with missile- defense systems called Aegis, which are fitted with SM-3 interceptors. In March, the US deployed the USS Monterey guided-missile cruiser in the Mediterranean and it is currently considering the deployment of a second vessel to beef up missile defense for its allies in the region and as part of its European missile-defense plan.

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