Israel began work on a potential theater missile defense (TMD) system in 1986, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States. While the threat posed by ballistic missiles has been a concern for Israel since the mid-1980s, Iraqi ballistic missile attacks during the Gulf War underscored the danger posed by the buildup of missile technology in the region. Given the lack of available Israeli resources for TMD development, the United States agreed to co-fund and co-develop an indigenously-produced Israeli TMD system. In 1988, the US and Israel began what was to evolve into a three-phase program to develop the ARROW series of Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missiles (ATBMs).
The entire anti-tactical ballistic missile project is called Homa. Arrow is intended to satisfy the Israeli requirement for an interceptor for defense of military assets and population centers and will support US technology base requirements for new advanced anti-tactical ballistic missile technologies that could be incorporated into the US theater missile defense systems. The Arrow Weapon System (AWS) consists of the Arrow II interceptor, the mobile launcher, the Fire Control Radar, the Fire Control Center, and the Launcher Control Center. The AWS is mobile and transportable. The Arrow 2 system can detect and track incoming missiles as far way as 500 km and can intercept missiles 50-90 km away [some sources suggest the engagement range is 16 to 48km].
The Arrow missile is a long-range interceptor that offers the United States technology infusion, including lethality data; development of optical window technology applicable to both THAAD and Navy Area Defense programs; data from stage separation at high velocities and dynamic pressures; and, interoperability development that will allow synergistic operations of Arrow with US TMD systems, if required in future contingencies.
The Arrow 2 uses a terminally-guided interceptor warhead to destroy an incoming missile from its launch at an altitude of 10 to 40km at nine times the speed of sound. The Arrow II interceptor is capable of intercepting and destroying short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the mid and high endo-atmosphere. The Arrow II interceptor missile is a two-staged vehicle launched from a six-pack mobile launcher. The missile contains solid rocket propellant with a hazard classification of 1.3 in the booster. The interceptor contains a focused blast fragmentation warhead to eliminate incoming missiles. The Arrow II interceptor is not hit-to-kill. It is controlled through aerodynamic and thrust vector control and contains a FTS. Since the missile does not need to directly hit the target -- detonation within 40-50 meters is sufficient to disable an incoming warhead.
The Citron Tree battle management center, built by Tadiran, guides the Arrow 2 interceptor, developed by Israel Aircraft Industries' MLM Division. The fire control radar is L-Band phased array radar with search, acquisition, track, and fire control function configured in four vehicles (power, cooling, electronics, and antenna). The fire control radar is towable, using range-supplied vehicles on improved roads.
The fire control center is a mobile shelter in which all the battle management, command and control, communications, and intelligence functions are performed. It connects through multiple high-capacity communications interfaces to support communications with the fire control radar and other fire control centers. The command and control system is designed to respond to as many as 14 simultaneous intercepts.
The launcher control center is a mobile shelter that provides a communication interface between the fire control center and the Arrow Launcher. Its primary function is to enable monitoring of launcher and missile status and it also provides missile maintenance and diagnostic capabilities. The launcher control center can support operations at remote distances from the fire control center.
Diesel generators supply power to the AWS, with several smaller miscellaneous generators used for various support equipment. Nitrogen (N2) tanks are kept at the launch control area, and N2 gas is used to cool the onboard electro-optical sensor of the missile.
Arrow-2 Test Launch
February 20, 1996 (43K)
Arrow-2 Test Launch
August 20, 1996 (37K)
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