Arrow-3 Missile Interceptor Performs Second Flight Test

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Arrow 3 interceptor launched from the IDF missile test site on the mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv Photo: IMOD
Arrow 3 interceptor launched from the IDF missile test site on the mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv Photo: IMOD
Arrow 3 interceptor launched from the IDF missile test site on the mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv Photo: IMOD

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed a successful flight of the Arrow-3 interceptor missile this morning. This is the second flight test of the Arrow-3 interceptor.

The Arrow-3 interceptor was successfully launched on 08:00 launched and flew an exoatmospheric trajectory through space, for about ten minutes, according to the test plan. As the previous mission (September 3, 2013) today’s flight was conducted at Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea and did not involve an actual intercept of a target.

According to Boaz Levi, IAI VP and General Manager of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group, the flight successfully validated the performance of the Arrow 3 interceptor and its capability to manoeuvre and intercept its targets in outer space. “It was 100% success, the interceptor was tested through a set of unique and challenging manoeuvres that fully demonstrated its unique design concept.” According to previous reports, the Arrow 3 KVs uses a thrust vectored rocket to divert the KV into the intercept course. To acquire the target through large offset angles the KV uses a gimballed seeker.

Arrow 3 interceptor launched from the IDF missile test site on the mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv Photo: IMOD
Arrow 3 interceptor launched from the IDF missile test site on the mediterranean coast, south of Tel Aviv Photo: IMOD

Israel deployed the previous version, Arrow II, more than a decade ago and says it has scored around a 90 percent success rate in live trials. The Arrow-3 interceptor was designed to provide another layer of defense against ballistic missiles, to add interception opportunities to the joint U.S. – Israel Arrow Weapon System and to improve the active defense architecture of the State of Israel against the missile threats. When Arrow 3 is deployed it will improve Israel’s defense against the missiles the Iranian are currently developing – missiles expected to be fired from longer range than today’s and carry heavier warheads, including unconventional or nuclear warheads.

IMOD sources said the successful test is a major milestone in the development of the Arrow-3 Weapon System and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.

Israel Missile Defense Organization and U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials conducted the flight test. The main contractor for the integration and the development of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of the Israel Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Boeing providing subsystems as a subcontractor. When the missile will enter production, Boeing is expected to provide a US production site, thus increasing its share of the program.

The majority of the financing for Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 programs, like the rest of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense programs comes from the US, with Boeing (Arrow 2, 3) and raytheon (David’s Sling, and possibly Iron Dome) sharing part of the development and production.