Stark Aerospace, headquartered in Columbus, Mississippi, on Wednesday celebrated the first delivery of the “Made in Mississippi” Arrow-3 Anti-Ballistic Missile canister to its parent company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Joining in the ceremony were Governor Phil Bryant and several members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation, along with senior officials of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD).
Stark was recently chosen to manufacture canisters for the Arrow-3, an integral component to the latest generation of missile defense systems developed by IAI and deployed by the IAF.
The Arrow Weapon System (AWS) is the upper tier defense system against ballistic missiles threats, and is the world’s first operational, national missile defense system. IAI is the prime contractor for AWS and responsible for Arrow 2&3 interceptors development, production and system integration.
The Arrow-3 interceptor defends against longer range, higher altitude (exo-atmospheric) and precise ballistic missile engagements. The combined interception capabilities of the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 will enhance Israel’s missile defense shields. An Arrow 3 battery is expected to intercept salvos of more than five ballistic missiles within 30 seconds.
Arrow 3 can be launched into an area of space before it is known where the target missile is going. When the target and its course are identified, the Arrow interceptor is redirected using its thrust-vectoring nozzle to close the gap and conduct a “body-to-body” interception.
Boaz Levy, General Manager and Executive VP of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Group, said in a statement: “We are pleased to mark this event with our partners at Stark that symbolizes the full cooperation between Israel and the US. Stark’s missile defense capabilities enable IAI to manufacture parts of the AWS in Mississippi and serve as a basis for future expansion on missile defense initiatives and other activities.”
Moshe Patel, IMDO Director, said in a statement: “The Israeli Ministry of Defense is proud to mark here in Mississippi another achievement representing fruitful long term cooperation between the US and Israel for building a strong protective shield to the State of Israel against Missiles & Rockets. The strong partnership and commitment between the Missile Defense Agency and the IMDO created a world-class interceptor that, together with the Arrow 2, expands the ballistic missile defense envelope provided to the State of Israel. Stark company joins many other US vendors and manufacturers that do an exceptional work and produce high-end components to our Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome systems.”