The Israeli Ministry of Defense and the US Missile Defense Agency successfully tested the Arrow-3 [missile defense system] on Tuesday morning. “Once the target was launched, Arrow Weapon System radars detected it and transferred the data to the battle management control (BMC) which then established a defense plan,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “The Arrow-3 interceptor was launched toward the target and successfully completed its mission.”
Led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) the test was carried out near Palmahim in central Israel in the early morning. In collaboration with the Israeli Air Force, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, with the US MDA, ran the test. The Arrow-3 is intended to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere (exo-atmospheric) and is part of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense system developed with the US. These include the David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Iron Dome. The success of this test was called a “milestone” by IAI.
Arrow-3 combines elements from a variety of Israeli defense companies, including Elta, a subsidiary of IAI which constructed the detection system and Elisra of Elbit Systems, which developed the BMC. Boeing, IAI-Tamam, Tomer and Rafael are subcontractors for the interceptor. Rafael has been responsible for providing the target missile.
Declared operational in January 2017, glitches caused two tests to be called off in December 2017 and January 2018. A successful test took place in February 2018. A planned test in Alaska was postponed in May 2018. US Congress has provided $743 million in funding for Arrow 3 since 2008. For 2018 a total of $253 was approved. Congress had expressed concern prior to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act regarding the need for two flight tests “at a range in the United States to validate Arrow Weapon System capabilities and interoperability with ballistic missile system components of the United States,” according to an early Senate version of the FY2018 NDAA.
An Arrow missile intercepted a Syrian SAM in March 2017 and the latest test of Arrow-3 takes place amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran in Syria. On January 20-21 Israel carried out airstrikes in Syria and a surface-to-surface missile was fired at Israel from Syria. It was intercepted by Iron Dome.