Israel preparing to test new generation of Arrow anti-missile system

Israel preparing to test new generation of Arrow anti-missile system – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper.

The new Arrow 3 system would be able to intercept unconventional Iranian missiles, says Defense Ministry project chief. Iran is estimated to possess hundreds of long-range Shahab 3 missiles.

By Gili Cohen | Dec.04, 2012 | 10:42 PM
An Arrow missile is launched during a test – Reuters - April 7, 2009.

An Arrow missile is launched during a test from an undisclosed location in Israel April 7, 2009. Photo by Reuters

The new generation of Israel’s anti-missile Arrow system will be tested “soon”, a defense ministry official said on Tuesday. The system, he stated, would be able to tackle long-range unconventional Iranian missiles.

In recent years Israel has advanced the development of the Arrow 3 project, an anti-missile defense system designed to intercept long-range missiles.

Yair Ramati, head of the Defense Ministry’s Homa ‏project, which is responsible for the development of the army’s multilayer missile defense systems, said on Tuesday that he hopes “soon we will conduct the launch tests” of the Arrow 3 interceptors.

Ramati stressed that the test will not check the missile’s intercepting capabilities, but only its launch system.

Speaking at a convention of Israel Defense Forces National Security College graduates, Ramati defined the Arrow 3 as “a defense missile against Iranian ballistic missiles carrying unconventional warheads.”

Compared with the Arrow systems currently operated by the IDF, the Arrow 3 is designed to have an improved intercepting missile. The missile is supposed to be lighter, with a higher operating range. The security establishment says that the interceptor would operate outside the Earth’s atmosphere, where it would “chase” its target.

The Arrow 3 system is estimated to be operational in three years.

Over the past year, a number of improvements were made to the Arrow 2, an anti-missile system designed to deal with the threat of medium-range ballistic missiles.

Ten days ago, a successful test-fire of another Israeli anti-missile defense system was conducted. The system, named David’s Sling, is meant to intercept mid-range missiles, mostly those held by Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Estimations in the defense establishment are that Hezbollah possess some 60 thousand of such rockets, 5,000 of them capable of reaching Tel-Aviv. Iran is estimated to have hundreds of Shahab 3 missiles with the range of thousands of kilometers.

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