Israel has announced that it is developing a new ballistic missile shield with the United States known as the Arrow-4, adding yet another layer in a defensive system constructed with a watchful eye on Iran.
Israel’s Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors are already operational and capable of destroying incoming missiles in the atmosphere and in space.
“The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement.
Jerusalem views Tehran’s ballistic missile program as a threat to Israel and the entire world, whereas the Islamic Republic maintains that such development is defensive and necessary to deter potential attacks.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will be the prime contractors for the Arrow-4. Boeing and Israel’s Elbit Systems are also part of the Arrow defense project.
The following is the full text of an Israeli Defense Ministry statement obtained by TV7:
The Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Commence Development of the Arrow-4 Weapon System
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: “Israel’s defense establishment is fully committed to improving its defensive and offensive capabilities against the ballistic missiles threatening our nation. Along with the development of vital offensive capabilities, the multi-layered missile defense array is being enhanced. The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond. I congratulate the Israel Missile Defense Organization, which is currently marking its 30th anniversary, as well as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Israeli defense industries, for making Israel’s home front safe.”
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), in the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT) of the Israel Ministry of Defense, and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), have commenced the development of the Arrow-4 system. Arrow-4 will be the next generation of endo-exoatmospheric interceptors in the Arrow weapon system, which today consists of Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors.
Arrow-4 will be an advanced, innovative interceptor missile with enhanced capabilities. It will address a wide range of evolving threats in the region and will replace the Arrow-2 interceptors over the next decades. Its development is led by the IMDO and the U.S. MDA, with IAI as the prime contractor for the development and production of the system and its interceptors.
MDA Director, Vice Adm. John Hill: “Arrow-4 is a cooperative program between the MDA and IMDO that illustrates U.S. commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”
Head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, Moshe Patel: “We are starting the development of the Arrow-4 system at a symbolic time- 30 years after the gulf war, which led to the establishment of the IMDO and the joint missile defense program with our American partners. Over the last three decades, we have developed one of the most advanced missile defense arrays in the world, built of four layers with demonstrated capabilities. These capabilities are being constantly improved against emerging threats. Arrow-4 will have unprecedented flight and interception capabilities, ensuring the security of the State of Israel.”
Israel Aerospace Industries, GM of the IAI/MLM Division, Jacob Galifat: “The Arrow weapon system, which was one of the first in the world to intercept ballistic missiles, will be upgraded with a significant capability, produced by IAI, in the form of the Arrow-4 interceptor. The interceptor will be the most advanced of its kind in the world and will provide a new layer of defense to the State of Israel and its citizens.”
The Arrow Weapon System is a major element of Israel’s multilayered missile defense array. It includes advanced radar systems, developed and produced by IAI subsidiary, Elta. It also includes a BMC system developed by Elbit Systems, and a Launch Array including interceptors produced by MLM (a subsidiary of IAI). Defense industries Rafael and Tomer are also involved in the development and production of the Arrow interceptor. Arrow-2 is operational since the year 2000, providing endo-exoatmospheric defense. Arrow-3, an exoatmospheric missile defense system, was delivered for operational use in 2017. It serves as the upper layer of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array. Over the past few years, both of the interceptors were upgraded, and demonstrated excellent capabilities during successful tests held in Israel and in Alaska, U.S.