Arrow missile defense system 390.
(photo credit: Israel Aerospace Industries/Reuters)
The Israel Air Force will take delivery in the coming weeks of an improved Arrow
2 missile interceptor.
Work on an upgraded interceptor called Block 4 was
revealed by The Jerusalem Post in April. The upgraded missile contains new
software aimed at improving the system’s ability to defend against long-range
ballistic missiles such as Iran’s Shahab and Sajil and Syria’s Scud D
The Arrow 2 is Israel’s upper-tier missile defense system,
complemented by the Iron Dome against short-range rockets and the David’s Sling,
which is under development and to be used against medium-range rockets and
In the coming months, the Defense Ministry plans to hold
its first interception test of the Arrow 3, a new higher-level system that will
provide Israel with a number of chances to intercept enemy missiles.
most recent test of the Arrow was held in February, but it did not include an
interception. During the test, an Israeli F-15 fighter jet launched a
Blue Sparrow missile developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to impersonate
long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.
The Arrow’s radar and detection
system – developed by Israel Aerospace Industries – detected the incoming
“enemy” missile and successfully tracked it.
In addition, the air force
has connected the Arrow to the Super Green Pine radar that is replacing an older
radar used to detect and track incoming ballistic missiles, improving the
Officials said on Sunday that the upgraded interceptor
will enable the Arrow to destroy more missiles than before, including longerand
“The Arrow has the ability to intercept all of
the long-range missiles currently threatening Israel,” a senior defense official
Delivery of the new Arrow interceptor comes as the IAF
works to increase the range of the Tamir interceptor – used by the Iron Dome
counter-rocket system – with the aim of enabling it to intercept longer-range
To achieve the improved performance, the IDF is focusing on two
tracks – technological upgrades to the system, and modifications to the Israel
Air Force’s operational doctrine.
The Iron Dome was originally designed
to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km.
Each battery consists of
a mini multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three
launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors called Tamirs.
enables Iron Dome operators to predict the impact site of an enemy rocket and
decide not to intercept it if it is slated to hit an open area.
interceptor costs between $50,000 and $100,000 and they are usually fired in
pairs at rockets to be interceded.
The system recently underwent a series
of tests in conjunction with manufacturer Rafael to determine its ability to
intercept longerrange rockets.