The Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the US Missile Defense Agency completed a successful flight test of the Arrow weapon system (AWS) and Arrow 3 interceptor at a test site in central Israel on January 18, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Twitter account.
Benny Gantz, Israel’s Defense Minister, praised the test for “equipping the State of Israel with self-defense capabilities against emerging threats.” The Minister of Defense stated that the system was the first time two interceptors were fired at the same target, and that the Arrow-3 system “gives Israel freedom of strategic maneuverability,” with the understanding that the best defense allows the most effective attack.
“This test was designed to challenge every element of the Arrow Weapon System, and it performed beautifully. Data collected from this test guide future development of the AWS,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill. “MDA remains committed to assisting the Government of Israel in upgrading its missile defense capability against current and emerging threats.”
IAI CEO Boaz Levy added, “throughout the flight test, the system was tested against ‘future threats’, in a challenging scenario, while gathering essential information that will be used by the defense establishment and the company’s engineers for the development of future technologies.”
The Arrow 3 interceptor is part of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS), which was developed in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to counter the current ballistic missile threats to the State of Israel. This weapon system can launch interceptors and is capable of launching two types of missiles, the Arrow 2 and the Arrow 3. An Arrow fire control radar and a battle management command center are also utilized in the system.
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Daniel Gold, head of the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), stated, “this ground breaking test represents yet another technological advancement in the defense agency’s ability to innovate and adapt to emerging threats in the regional arena and on the future battlefield. DDR&D, the IDF, and partner industries will maintain technological superiority in national security.”
An advanced version of the Arrow-2 missile, the Arrow-3 is an exoatmospheric hypersonic anti-ballistic missile designed to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles. A 2-stage solid fuel rocket motor propellant powers the missile, which can travel at 9 times the speed of sound. The Arrow-3 has a wider range than its predecessor, the Arrow-2, and is capable of intercepting incoming threats out of the atmosphere. It serves as the top layer of Israel’s multi-layered air defense system, which includes Iron Dome, David’s Slingshot, and Arrow 2 and 3.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have also begun development of the Arrow-4 system, which will address a wide range of emerging threats in the region and eventually replace the Arrow-2 interceptors.