The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, is developing the Arrow-4 missile interceptor system, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.
The Arrow-4 will be the next generation of endo-exoatmospheric interceptors in Israel’s Arrow Weapon System and have “unprecedented flight and interception capabilities,” according to Moshe Patel, head of the IMDO, which is part of Israel’s Defense Ministry.
Endoatmospheric inceptors address missiles in the atmosphere and exo-atmospheric interceptors address missiles out of the atmosphere.
“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,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Vice Admiral John Hill, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said the joint development of the Arrow-4 “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.”
Israel Aerospace Industries was named as the prime contractor for the development and production of the system.
Israel’s Arrow Weapon System currently consists of Arrow-2 interceptors, which have been operational since 2000, and Arrow-3 interceptors, which became operational in 2017. The Arrow-4 will replace the Arrow-2 interceptors over the next decades, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
The Arrow Weapon System is a major element of Israel’s multilayered defense systems, according to the Defense Ministry. The Arrow-3 interceptor—the world’s first operational, national, stand-alone anti-tactical ballistic-missiles defense system—serves as the upper layer of Israel’s multi-tier defense array.
Over the last few years, the Arrow-2 and the Arrow-3 interceptors have been upgraded, said the Defense Ministry, which noted that both systems demonstrated successful capabilities during tests held in Israel and Alaska.