Israel has not been standing still while Iran has developed nuclear weapons technology. Keenly aware of Tehran's ambition to annihilate the Jewish State, Jerusalem has been racing to develop a comprehensive, multi-layered defense system.
Two days ago, on Wednesday, 17 January, Israel's Air Force (IAF) received its first delivery of high-tech, portable rockets. Dubbed Arrow 3, they are designed to intercept intercontinental missiles while they are in flight. The IAF calls it an exo-atmospheric antiballistic system.
How does it work?
Arrow 3 interceptors are designed to fly beyond the earth's atmosphere, where their warheads detach to become 'kamikaze' satellites, or "kill vehicles", that track and slam into the targets. The high-altitude shoot-downs are meant to safely destroy incoming nuclear, biological or chemical missiles.
ILLUSTRATION OF HOW ARROW 3 WORKS. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.
The system's development over the past few years has included a number of test launches of missiles and interceptors into space. Now that Israel has taken delivery of the interceptors, the IAF is integrating the system so it can become operational immediately.
Arrow 3 joins Israel’s three-tiered air defense system. That system includes...
...Iron Dome, capable of intercepting short-range rockets;
...David’s Sling, for use against heavy medium-range rockets and enemy drones. Currently, David's Sling is in an advance stage of integration before becoming operational; and
...Arrow System interceptors. Today this division includes the Arrow 2, capable of shooting down long-range ballistic missiles; and now the Arrow 3.
Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) together with the US Missile Defense Agency, the Arrow 3 is the upper tier Israel's air defense system. It is designed to intercept missiles that leave earth's atmosphere before making their descent toward their target.
According to Israel's Defense Ministry, "the Arrow 3 interceptor is considered one of the best interceptors in the world, equipped with breakthrough technology on a global scale."
As part of the process of making the system operational, its developers are expected to conduct further tests for Arrow 3 this year.
"We're entering a new era today, the Arrow 3 Era," Moshe Patel said Wednesday. Patel leads the missile defense projects in Israel's Defense Ministry division called the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
"Today, we delivered an initial Arrow 3 system to the IAF, which has defense and interception capabilities much superior and far-reaching than we've known thus far," Patel continued.
Arrow 3, he said, "allows—with a far better technological capabilities—to have a more significant window of interception and provides better protection to the State of Israel against long-range missiles."
The commander of aerial defense, Brigadier General Zvika Yachimovich, said he was "confident this system—along with the other existing systems and those that will be integrated in the future like David's Sling—will provide us with a more effective and significant capability to defend the State of Israel."
Boaz Levy of the IAI added, "We're delivering an arms system to the IAF that includes several interceptors, radar, and a control and command system that knows how to intercept the various threats, in different altitudes, both inside the atmosphere and outside of it."
Because this is a significantly edited version of two articles published by YNet News, Brian Schrauger is listed as co-author of this report. Schrauger is the Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Journal. See the original articles published by YNet News at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4909733,00.html and http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4737502,00.html