The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have begun development work for the ARROW-4 weapon systems, according to a joint statement from the two organisations on 18 February. ARROW-4 will be the next generation of endo-exoatmospheric interceptors in the ARROW weapon system, which today consists of ARROW-2 and ARROW-3 interceptors.
“Along with the development of vital offensive capabilities, the defence establishment is constantly working to defend Israel’s skies against ballistic threats through the ongoing development of its multi-layered [missile defence] array. The development of ARROW-4, together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and the ever-evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond,” stated Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz.
ARROW-4 will be an advanced, innovative interceptor missile with enhanced capabilities. It will address a wide range of evolving threats in the region and will replace the ARROW-2 interceptors over the next several decades. Its development is led by IMDO and MDA, with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the prime contractor for development and production of the system and its interceptors.
“ARROW-4 is a cooperative program between the MDA and IMDO that illustrates US commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats,” commented MDA Director, VAdm John Hill.
“We are starting the development of the ARROW-4 system at a symbolic time – 30 years after the Gulf War, which led to the establishment of the IMDO and the joint missile defence programme with our American partners. Over the last three decades, we have developed one of the most advanced missile defence arrays in the world, built of four layers with demonstrated capabilities. These capabilities are being constantly improved against emerging threats. ARROW-4 will have unprecedented flight and interception capabilities, ensuring the security of the State of Israel,” observed Moshe Patel, Head of IMDO.
Jacob Galifat, General Manager of IAI’s MLM Division, added “The ARROW weapon system, which was one of the first in the world to intercept ballistic missiles, will be upgraded with a significant capability, produced by IAI, in the form of the ARROW-4 interceptor. The interceptor will be the most advanced of its kind in the world and will provide a new layer of defense to the State of Israel and its citizens.”