Arrow 3 missile defense 370.
(photo credit: Defense Ministry)
Amid the developing Iranian nuclear and missile threat, Israel is stepping up
production of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system, a defense figure
revealed this week.
Col. Aviram Hason, who heads the Defense Ministry’s
upper-tier missile defense program, said at a conference held by the Tel
Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies on Monday that the Arrow 3
program was being fast-tracked so that it would be ready to meet the threat on
Prior to Hason’s comments, the expectation was that the first batch
of four Arrow 3 batteries will come into service between 2014 and 2016. Four
additional upgraded batteries, carrying more interceptors, could be built
“We want Israel to have a nearly full defense layer against any
future or current threats,” Hason said at the conference, which examined modern
aerial threats. The colonel informed the audience that the Arrow 3 system could
operate over “outer ring” countries that do not border Israel, such as
An Arrow 3 missile was successfully test-launched
in Israel in
Traveling at twice the speed of a tank shell, the Arrow 3
interceptor turns into a space vehicle after leaving the atmosphere. It carries
out several swift maneuvers as it locks on to its target. It then lunges
directly at the incoming projectile for a head-on collision, relying on the
kinetic impact alone to destroy its target.
Hason said that as they
travel upwards, interception missiles would know the locations of all
surrounding aircraft, and can automatically plan their flight trajectory to
avoid accidents. Before being launched, radars and sensors would inform a
central air force command center of the threat, which would then decide which
air defense system to activate, he added.
Meanwhile, Jane’s Defense
Weekly revealed this week that an American tender accidentally exposed
classified Israeli plans to construct an Arrow 3 launch base at Tal Shahar in
The tender – made available by the US Federal Business
Opportunities website – called on American defense companies to bid for a
project to construct a $25 million facility on behalf of the Israel Air Force,
and contained detailed building plans. Although the tender did not specifically
say the facility was designed as an Arrow 3 launch site, Jane’s said that is
“almost certainly” its purpose. The sensitive information has since been deleted
from the defense journal’s website.