The Homa administration at Mapat (Administration for Research, Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure) in the Ministry of Defense, together with the US National Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the IDF, on Tuesday morning, completed a successful test of the Arrow and Arrow 3 interceptor system, designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere.
The test, led by IAI, was carried out from an Air Force base in the center of the country towards the sea, which required the diversion of commercial flights’ takeoffs and landings at Ben Gurion Airport to northern routes. Around midnight, Tuesday, an IAI and Elta plane, together with Air Force planes, including Gulfstream V, Hercules, and Boeing 707 aerial refueling aircraft, for a test in the Mediterranean in collaboration with the NATO base in Crete, Greece. Upon completion of the test, the planes returned to Israel.
The defense establishment had tried to carry out the test at the beginning of the week but succeeded only Tuesday morning.
According to a defense ministry tweet, the operational radar array of the Arrow system discovered the target and passed its data to the shooting management center, which analyzed the data and carried out a full interception plan. Upon completion of the plan, two Arrow 3 interceptors were launched at the target and completed their mission successfully.
The Arrow system consists of the joint production hypersonic Arrow anti-missile interceptor, the Elta EL/M-2080 “Green Pine” early-warning AESA radar, the Elisra “Golden Citron” C3I center, and the Israel Aerospace Industries “Brown Hazelnut” launch control center. The system is transportable, as it can be moved to other prepared sites.
According to Haaretz, the multibillion-dollar development program of the Arrow is undertaken in Israel with the financial support of the United States. When the development program began, in 1986, the projection for the total cost of its development and manufacture – including the initial production of missiles – was $1.6 billion. The price of a single Arrow missile was estimated at $3 million. Between 1989 and 2007, some $2.4 billion were invested in the Arrow program, between 50% and 80% percent of which came from the United States. Israel contributes about $65 million each year.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, stated: “I applaud the successful and unprecedented experiment that points to Israel’s technological superiority, led by the defense establishment and the defense industries. Step by step, development by development, we maintain Israel’s ability to defend itself against the threats that are developing in the region and allow Israel the freedom of offensive action against our enemies, understanding that the best defense allows for the most effective offense.”
Director of the United States Missile Defense Agency, Navy Vice Admiral Jon Hill, stated: “This experiment was designed to challenge all the components of the Arrow weapon system and the execution was excellent. The vast amount of information gathered in the test will guide and assist in its future developments. The MDA will continue to be committed to assisting the State of Israel in upgrading its missile defense capabilities against existing and emerging threats in the arena.”