The U.S. and Israel have started development of an upper-stage component to Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defense architecture. Arieh Herzog, director of Israel’s missile defense program, says the main element will be a highly maneuverable exoatmospheric interceptor that zeros in on an incoming missile.
The decision to add the component, which will be jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, stems from a study conducted in 2006‑07 that identified a need for it in Israel’s ballistic missile defense system.
Meanwhile, given the urgent need to meet the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran, IAI is pressing ahead with the Arrow-3 antiballistic missile, the development of which is being funded partly by the U.S. IAI displayed a full-sized model of the two-stage Arrow-3 at the Paris air show last year. It is slightly smaller than the Arrow-2 missile in service, but is designed to engage and intercept clusters of hostile missiles at higher altitudes in the upper atmosphere. Uri Sinai, general manager of IAI’s missile division, says the Arrow-3 will be the world’s first multitiered, unified antimissile system, providing Israel’s Homa national missile-defense strategy with an effective exoatmospheric kill vehicle (KV).