Israel said on Thursday it is developing a new ballistic missile shield, the Arrow-4, with the United States, another layer in a defensive system built with an eye toward Iran.
Israel‘s Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors are already operational as part of a multilayered system to destroy incoming missiles in the atmosphere and in space.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), in the Directorate of Defense R&D (MAFAT) of the Israel Ministry of Defense, and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), have commenced the development of the Arrow-4 system. Arrow-4 will be the next generation of endo-exoatmospheric interceptors in the Arrow weapon system, which today consists of Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors.
Arrow-4 will be an advanced, innovative interceptor missile with enhanced capabilities. It will address a wide range of evolving threats in the region and will replace the Arrow-2 interceptors over the next decades. Its development is led by the IMDO and the U.S. MDA, with IAI as the prime contractor for the development and production of the system and its interceptors.
“The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.
MDA Director, Vice Adm. John Hill said that “Arrow-4 is a cooperative program between the MDA and IMDO that illustrates U.S. commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”
Israeli leaders have described Iran’s ballistic missile program as a threat to Israel and the world. Iran says its missile development is defensive and aimed at deterring attack.
The Defense Ministry said Israel Aerospace Industries would serve as the prime contractor for the Arrow-4. Boeing and Israel‘s Elbit Systems are also part of the Arrow defense project.
The Arrow Weapon System is a major element of Israel’s multilayered missile defense array.