By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. Israel needs to adapt its ballistic missile defences to new evolving threats mainly posed by Iran.
It was announced on February 18 that Israel and the US have begun the development of the Arrow-4 ballistic missile interceptor. The design is aimed at dealing with new threats posed mainly by the Iranian long range ballistic missiles.
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said on February 18 that the development of Arrow-4 together with the US will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the West Asia and beyond.
The development is jointly managed by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), in the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT) of the Israel Ministry of Defense, and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
Today Israel deploys the Arrow- and Arrow-3.
According to the Israeli MOD, the 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.
According to MDA director Vice Adm John Hill “the Arrow-4 is a cooperative program between the MDA and IMDO. It 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.”
Head of the Israel missile defense organization Mosh Patel said on February 18 that Arrow-4 will have unprecedented flight and interception capabilities, ensuring the security of the State of Israel.”
Jacob Galifat, general manger of Israel aerospace industries (IAI) general MLM division, said that the new version 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, US.
Iran has developed a range of long range ballistic missiles. Some are based on liquid fuel while others are powered by solid fuel.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist