- High-velocity exo-atmospheric hit-to-kill interceptor will be integrated with Israel's Arrow Weapon System
- Software block increments will increase the interceptor's capabilities appropriate to the evolving threat set
The Israel Missile Defence Organization (IMDO), a division of the Israeli Ministry of Defence (MoD), has declared operational the upper tier element of its multi-layered national air and missile defence system, with acceptance into Israel Air Force (IAF) service of the new Arrow-3 exo-atmospheric interceptor.
The IMDO on 18 January formally transferred an Arrow-3 initial operating capability to the IAF Aerial Defence Array; the new interceptor has now been integrated into the land-based Arrow Weapon System (AWS) to complement the current the Arrow-2 endo-atmospheric intercept capability, which has been in operational service with the IAF since October 2000. The MoD disclosed that core AWS components, including the Golden Almond Battle Management Centre (BMC) and Citron Tree Fire Control Centre developed by Elisra, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, and the EL/M 2080S Super Green Pine multimode, solid-state phased array radar the primary sensor of the AWS - developed by IAI's Elta Systems - were also "fully upgraded" to accommodate integration of the new interceptor capability.
Arrow-3 builds on a long-standing co-operative missile defence development programme - beginning 2002 - between the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) and the IMDO. A continuation of this co-operation, and jointly funded by the US and Israeli governments, the Arrow-3 interceptor is co-developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) MLM Division and Boeing Defense (the earlier Arrow-2 is co-produced by MLM and Boeing), and managed jointly by the MDA and the IMDO.
"The IAF has now acquired an initial capability with the Arrow-3, and has sufficient interceptor numbers to deploy it operationally. We are, of course, on track to deliver more Arrow-3 interceptors to the Air Force within the next few years, although quantities and delivery schedules cannot be disclosed," Boaz Levi, IAI executive vice president, and general manager of the company's Systems, Missiles & Space Group told IHS Jane's.
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