Defense Ministry halts Arrow-3 test after simulator missile proves to be a dud

The Arrow 3 is considered one of the world's best interceptors due to its breakthrough technological capabilities.

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December 4, 2017 10:07
2 minute read.
Israeli Air Force receives Arrow-3 ballistic interceptors in formal transfer ceremony.

Israeli Air Force receives Arrow-3 ballistic interceptors in formal transfer ceremony.. (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

 
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The Defense Ministry halted an interception test of the latest Arrow-3 system after discovering flaws in the target missile on Monday morning.

Moshe Patel, Israel Missile Defense Organization director, said that the joint Israeli Defense Ministry and American Missile Defense Agency test was cut short after the target missile which had been fired “did not meet the predetermined safety conditions needed to carry out the test.”

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According to Patel, the simulator missile-which was supposed to simulate a ballistic missile fired at Israel-was fired but it quickly became clear that it was not functioning as expected and therefore the test was stopped before the Arrow system could be tested.

“Given this, on-site engineers declared a ‘No Test,’” he stated stressing that “the experiment was not a failure.”

Test data is being collected and analyzed by engineers to continue Arrow-3 development, the Defense Ministry said.
The Arrow 3

The Arrow-3 development program is one of the joint programs between Israel and the United States, was comanaged by the US Missile Defense Agency and IMDO, a division of the Israeli Defense Ministry. The primary contractor for the integration and development of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of Israel Aerospace Industries, together with America’s Boeing, Elta, Elbit Systems, IMI, and Rafael.

The Arrow-3 is a highly maneuverable system designed to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth’s atmosphere and is considered one of the world’s best interceptors due to its breakthrough technological capabilities. The Arrow-3 is the only interceptor that does carry a warhead but intercepts an incoming missile by crashing into it.

The new, latest generation of the Arrow-3 system is believed to have better-intercepting capabilities at a much higher altitude and much further away from Israeli soil.

In the face of the growing missile threat to Israel, the Arrow 3 will form the uppermost layer of Israel’s multilayered defense system along with the Arrow-2, David’s Sling and Iron Dome system. Together the systems provide Israel with a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.

The Israel Air Force officially received Arrow-3 interceptors from the Israel Missile Defense Organization in January and according to IMDO director Moshe Patel, further trials of the system were expected as Israel will continue to develop additional capabilities for the system.

In July the US House of Representatives passed a $696 billion defense policy bill, designated $705 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act increased spending on defense programs by $105 million and specified that funding be allocated to several Israeli programs including the Arrow-3 system.

The first use of the Arrow system occurred in April when the system was launched to intercept a Syrian regime air defense fired three surface-to-air missiles towards IAF jets.

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