The joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic target missile today, during a flight test conducted over the Pacific Ocean. The test was part of the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP), conducted jointly by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
The missile was launcehd from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division-Pt. Mugu Sea Range, at 10:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). The target missile was launched from a Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) off the coast of California, within the Pt. Mugu test range. According to the joint MDA/MOD announcement, the target was representative of potential ballistic missile threats facing Israel. A previous test scheduled for July 22, 2009 was aborted after the system failed to develop an intercept solutyion within the launch ‘window’ provided by the test range. The 2009 target was representing an Iranian long range missile with payload capacity conforming to a missile carrying a nuclear warhead. A similar target is believed to have been used on today’s test as well.
The Arrow Weapon System’s Green Pine radar successfully detected and tracked the target and transferred information to the Citron Tree battle management control system. The Arrow Weapon System launched an interceptor missile which performed its planned trajectory and destroyed the target missile. According to the official announcement, the test represented a realistic scenario and all the elements of the weapon system performed in their operational configuration.
The Arrow-2 program is a joint U.S.-Israeli program developing and deploying missile defense capabilities protecting Israel from ballistic missile threats. Arrow-2 ASIP is the latest version of the missile. A new missile known as Arrow-3 is currently in development, augmenting the Arrow-2 ASIP with an ‘upper tier’ interception layer capable of engaging incoming missiles through their midcourse phase, while in space. The upper layer intercept will significantly improve the defensive capability of the integrated system, implementing ‘shoot-shoot-look-shoot’ stragegy ‘shoot-look-shoot’ strategy of current missile defense assets.
The main contractor for the integration and the development of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The “Green Pine” Radar is developed by ELTA Industries and the “Citron Tree” BMC is developed by Tadiran Electronic Systems, Ltd.