The Arrow system serves as the upper layer of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array and is aimed to protect Israel’s skies from long-range missiles.
In the face of Iran’s continued development of long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that it has started developing, alongside the US Missile Defense Agency, a new generation of the advanced Arrow missile defense system.
The new system known as the Arrow-4 will become a major part of Israel’s multilayered missile defense architecture.
The Arrow-3 currently serves as the upper layer of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array, designed to protect Israel from long-range missiles particularly those produced in Iran.
It includes advanced radar systems, developed and produced by Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. 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.
The development of the new generation of the Arrow is being conducted by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), located within the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT) of the Defense Ministry, in conjunction with the US MDA.
Arrow-4 represents the next generation of endo- and exoatmospheric interceptors in the Arrow weapon system, which currently consists of Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptors.
“Arrow 4 will be an advanced, innovative interceptor missile with enhanced capabilities,” the ministry said in a statement. “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 US MDA, with IAI as the prime contractor for the development and production of the system and its interceptors.”
Following the announcement, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that 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 US Missile Defense Agency and Israeli defense industries, for making Israel’s home front safe,” he said.
IAI general manager of the IAI/MLM Division Jacob Galifat said that “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.”
MDA Director Vice Adm. John Hill said the “Arrow-4 is a cooperative program between the MDA and IMDO that illustrates US commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”