The Israeli Air Force began a new era in missile defense Wednesday by receiving its first delivery of the Arrow 3 intercontinental ballistic missile interceptors.
“We’re entering a new age—the age of the Arrow 3,” said Moshe Patel, the head of Israel’s missile defense program. “Today, we delivered to the air force the first Arrow 3 interceptor, with interception capabilities that are much greater and can be done from much farther away than anything that we have now.”
The Arrow 3 system, which is a joint Israeli-American venture, is designed to serve as the upper tier of Israel’s multilayered missile defense program, which also includes the Iron Dome and David’s Sling systems. Arrow 3 has the capability to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.
“I am sure that this system, along with the others that we have and that will join our arsenal in the future, like the David’s Sling, will give us more effective and meaningful capabilities,” said Brig.-Gen. Tzvika Haimovich, who heads the Israeli military’s Aerial Defense Command.
Originally designed by Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Arrow 3 was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries in partnership with the U.S. defense firm Boeing, and was partially financed by the U.S. government. With the new system, which is widely considered the most advanced of its kind in the world, both countries will have the capability of shooting down ballistic missiles in outer space.