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Arrow 3

The name Arrow-3 is misleading, as this is not an upgraded version of the Arrow-2, but a totally new interceptor using kinetic kill instead of proximity warhead detonation as in the operational Arrow-2. The missile is "very energetic" with energy used to give the missile "super-manoeuvrability" so it will be capable of changing its trajectory to engage another target detected after launch.

The Upper Tier Program provides the Arrow-3 missile, increasing the system`s capability against advanced medium range threats by providing approximately four times the current Arrow-2 battle space. The primary near term objective is to complete and demonstrate Upper Tier design, and continue Initial Lot Production (ILP) deliveries. This project provides funding for the Upper Tier component of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) development. The United States through the cooperative effort gains knowledge and experience of the Israeli Defense Forces operation of a multi-layered defense architecture. This project also includes the procurement of the Silver Sparrow Air-Launched Target which is necessary to validate the performance of the Arrow-3 Missile and related Block 5 spiral development activities. Spiral development and UTI upgrades were incorporated into the Arrow Weapon System (MD26: Israeli ARROW Program) as the UTI initial development and Low Rate Initial Production were complete beginning in FY 2019.

The Israeli Air Force entered a "new era" as it has received Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missiles from Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), the IMDO director said 18 January 2017. The ceremonial transfer of the anti-ballistic missiles, which can intercept the missiles while they are outside the Earth's atmosphere, was reportedly attended by Gen. William Coley, a representative of the US Missile Defense Agency, Air Defense Force Commander Brig. Gen. Zvika Yachimovitch, Israeli Aerospace Industries Vice President and Head of the Missile and Space program Boaz Levy.

While significant progress had been achieved in the Arrow-3 development program, by 2011 assessments of high technical and schedule risk is still valid. Of the 20 Knowledge Points, 6 of 7 planned have been successfully accomplished thus far. One Knowledge Point related to the booster motor was not met due to a static test failure, and the re-design and re-test is in progress. As designers proceeded into more complex component ground tests leading up to the first flight test, additional technical issues have surfaced. These technical issues were driving slight schedule delays (first quarter so far) for the first flight test, but there was very little schedule margin to be able to accommodate any additional issues. The remainder of the schedule through IOC declaration was also success-oriented with no room for error.

A solicitation outlined the expansion of an Israeli Air Force facility at Tal Shahar, halfway between Jerusalem and Ashdod near Beit Shemesh, indicated that it would be used for four Arrow 3 launchers on sites in the surrounding hills. The estimated completion date was around the end of 2014. Each of the four launchers would have six missiles for a total of 24 interceptors. The plans for the base were revealed in a routine United States Department of Defense contract solicitation.

Under Solicitation Number W912GB-13-R-0027 ["BMD Launcher LS 13103, Israel"] on 25 April, 2013 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District (USACE EUD), planned to enter into a firm-fixed-price (FFP), design-bid-build (DBB) construction contract for facility construction to include but not limited to reinforced protected concrete structures, approximate area - 450 sq-m each, including storage and operations areas. Reinforced concrete pile foundations, protective reinforced concrete walls and reinforced concrete protected roofs, protective doors/gates and interior & exterior paint finishes. Building systems will include: electricity, communication, air conditioning, fire detection and lifting devices. Site development will include but is not limited to roadways connecting the buildings to existing roads, infrastructure and utility connections for electricity, communication, water, sewage and drainage pipes, fire detection, earth works, paving, fences and gates, etc. According to the bid requests on the $25 million project, the Arrow 3 system will include six interceptors in vertical launch positions to be placed in the facility, and a gantry crane would need to be erected for further missiles. The structures encasing the interceptor system are to be constructed from high-grade concrete reinforced with steel mesh grids. They would have steel blast doors and a system to protect electrical wiring from the pressure created by a launch.

Arrow 3, Israel’s longest range interceptor, will add to the Arrow 2 capability, providing a new layer to Israel’s intercept capability, engaging threats in space far beyond Israel’s borders. The system had completed its second successful test flight in 2014, and was on track to become operational in 2015.

In January 2014, Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 system, which is designed to intercept missiles at a higher altitude, to try and limit the damage from fallout. A long-range Arrow 3 interceptor was fired from Palmahim air base, south of Tel Aviv. It left the Earth’s atmosphere, carried out maneuvers in space and having fulfilled its mission fell into the Mediterranean. The test lasted 10 minutes. No real missiles were targeted. "The Arrow 3 interceptor successfully launched and flew an exo-atmospheric trajectory through space," Israel's Defense Ministry said in a statement at the time.

The kill vehicles fired by the Arrow 3 system, are also known as "kamikaze satellites". They are said to be able to identify and track chemical, biological or nuclear warheads above the Earth's atmosphere. The interceptors then ram into the missiles and destroy them at an altitude, where the disintegration is safe. The Arrow 3 can intercept types of missiles that are used by Iran and Syria and are believed to be held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israeli patent WO2006003660 (A1) - 2006-01-12 "EXO ATMOSPHERIC INTERCEPTING SYSTEM AND METHOD" is said to describe the Arrow 3 kill vehicle. The kill-vehicle to be used in an exo-atmospheric anti-missile interceptor aimed at hitting a target has a main body and comprising: an electronic box; a sensor unit coupled to the electronic box and including at least one sensor for tracking the target at a certain field of view; an inertial measurement unit coupled to the sensor unit; and a divert system controlled by the electronic box for providing the kill-vehicle with thrust at a desired direction; said divert system and electronic box constituting said main body, wherein the kill-vehicle further comprises at least one gimbals unit coupled to the main body and to the sensor unit for controllably changing an angle between the sensor unit and the main body, and wherein said electronic box is configured to synchronically operate said divert system and gimbals unit such that the target remains in the field of view of said at least one sensor and the thrust is provided in a direction required for hitting the target.

Israel’s upgraded Arrow ballistic missile shield failed its first live interception test on 16 December 2014. Operators of the Arrow 3 battery at Palmahim Air Base on the Mediterranean coast reportedly canceled the launch of its interceptor missile after it failed to lock on to a target missile fired over the Mediterranean. “There was a countdown to the launch, and then nothing happened,” according to one source. The Defense Ministry said that a target missile was launched and carried out its trajectory successfully.

On December 11, 2015 Israel said it had successfully tested a ballistic missile shield for protection from long-range weapons held by Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. The Defense Ministry said the Arrow 3 system fully passed its interception test, hitting a target in space as it would a missile coming from a hostile party. The successful test boosts Arrow 3, which is to become the top-tier missile defense system in Israel’s arsenal. A similar test last year failed due to what designers said was a faulty deployment of the target. "The Arrow 3 successful trial this morning is further proof of our security industries' impressive abilities in the technological field, in this case of the Israel Aerospace Industry," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

The Defense Ministry conducted a missile test from the Palmachim air base early on 05 July 2018. “In the framework of the Homa [missile defense] directorate, a planned test launch was conducted this morning,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, without elaborating on what type of missile was launched. Two earlier tests of the system in Israel were called off after technical problems and in May 2018 the Defense Ministry delayed an upcoming joint test with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which was due to take place on the Alaskan island of Kodiak.

: The Arrow Weapon System (AWS) continues Block 4 and Block 5 spiral development and target development. Included is the integration of Block 5 assets, which consists of the Arrow-3 missile, launcher, and Long Range Detection Suite (LRDS). Continue proven Interoperability with U.S. Assets and enhancements to existing AWS System Components. Arrow Block 5 development will also incorporate a Long Range Detection Suite that consists of an unmanned aerial vehicle Airborne Early Warning System (ABEWS) and Sharp Eye Radar for increased sensor range, early detection and enhanced raid size capacity. The program also includes the continued development of Arrow`s interoperability with U.S. BMDS.

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Page last modified: 03-07-2022 15:25:59 ZULU