Israel is now officially capable of shooting down ballistic missiles in space, and protecting its citizens from long-range missile threats with the use of an enhanced Aerial Defense Array.
The Israeli Air Force this week received its first battery of interceptors for operational use with the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system. The new interceptors will initially operate in conjunction with lower-range Arrow-2 interceptors.
“Arrow-3 is the result of many years of development efforts, based on a solution designed by IAI which have today come to fruition,” said Boaz Levi, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) vice president and general manager of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group. “This is a milestone for the Israel’s Defense Establishment, and for Israel’s defense industries.”
IAI manufactures the surface-to-air Arrow Weapon System, a joint program with the United States.
The system is capable of shooting down intercontinental ballistic missiles fired from thousands of miles away, neutralizing the threat outside of Earth’s atmosphere where it will harm no one.
With the Arrow 3, Iran’s vow to “wipe Israel off the map” has to a certain extent been de-fanged – at least, for the time being.
Medium-range missiles such as those fired by Hezbollah, north of Israel, and by Islamic State terrorists from the Sinai Peninsula, still pose a threat. ‘David’s Sling’ is the third prong of the system that is yet to be completed in the triple-deck missile defense system under development.
The Iron Dome missile defense system, which intercepts short-range rockets and missiles such as the Qassams and Grad Katyushas, has been in place and functioning since Israel’s 2014 mini-war with Gaza, Operation Protective Edge.Hana Levi Julian