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August 14, 2020 11:54 am

Israeli Defense Officials Tease Next Gen Nuke Interceptors

avatar by James Spiro and Udi Etsion / CTech

The launch of an Arrow 3 interceptor. Photo: US Missile Defense Agency via Wikimedia Commons.

CTech – The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Israel Ministry of Defense, working with the American Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Israeli Air Force (IAF), completed on Wednesday night a successful test of Arrow 2, a ballistic missile interceptor system.

The test took place in the middle of the night and was conducted by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at a site in central Israel. It showed that the Arrow 2 system successfully engaged a Sparrow target missile, which acts as a long-range surface-to-surface missile, simulating the Iranian-made Shihab 3. The Arrow 2 interceptor is part of the Arrow Weapon System, the world’s first operational, national defense system. The Arrow 3, capable of targeting satellites and other exo-atmospheric threats was declared operational in January 2017.

Following the test, Moshe Fattal, head of the “Homa” administration at the Ministry of Defense, said the Arrow 2 system has undergone five upgrades in its 20 years of service, both to its software and algorithm and to the missile itself as well as to its command and control system.

In the first public statement of the next generation of the system, the Arrow 4, Fattal said “We are preparing for the entrance of nuclear weapons into the military arena and working on solutions with near 100% success rate. Arrow 4 is currently a concept, a collection of ideas being developed by the defense industry using their R&D budgets — ideas we will be testing further down the road.

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“The Arrow 4 is meant to offer a response to future threats that we anticipate and will be able to intercept targets that will only enter the ring in a few years from now,” said Boaz Levy, General Manager and Executive VP of Israel Aerospace Industries Systems, Missiles & Space Group.

“Israel must face challenges both near and far, and our elite technological units ensure that we will always be one step ahead of our enemies, and that we will defend Israeli skies from any threat,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

“The test completed by Israeli and American units is a testament to the partnership between the two nations. The updated capabilities in the Arrow system contend with current and future threats against the countries,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

Last year, the Arrow-3 test was successfully conducted by the IMDO and MDA in Alaska.

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