Israel, US commence development of Arrow-4 air defense system

The advanced interceptor missile will address a wide range of evolving threats in the region and be part of Israel’s multilayered missile defense array

Photo: Ministry of Defense

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 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the prime contractor for the development and production of the system and its interceptors. 

The Arrow Weapon System is a major element of Israel’s multilayered missile defense array. It includes advanced radar systems, developed and produced by IAI subsidiary, Elta. It also includes a BMC system developed by Elbit Systems, and a Launch Array including interceptors produced by MLM (a subsidiary of IAI). Arrow-2 is operational since the year 2000, providing endo-exoatmospheric defense. Arrow-3, an exoatmospheric missile defense system, was delivered for operational use in 2017. It serves as the upper layer of Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array. 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, "Along with the development of vital offensive capabilities, the defense establishment is constantly working to defend Israel’s skies against ballistic threats through the ongoing development of its multi-layered [missile defense] array. 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 the ever-evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond. I congratulate the Israel Missile Defense Organization, which is currently marking its 30th anniversary, as well as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Israel Aerospace Industries, thanks to which we are able to defend Israel’s home front."

The head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, Moshe Patel, said "We are starting the development of the Arrow-4 system at a symbolic time- 30 years after the gulf war, which led to the establishment of the IMDO and the joint missile defense program with our American partners. Over the last three decades, we have developed one of the most advanced missile defense arrays in the world, built of four layers with demonstrated capabilities. These capabilities are being constantly improved against emerging threats. Arrow-4 will have unprecedented flight and interception capabilities, ensuring the security of the State of Israel."

Jacob Galifat, GM of IAI's MLM Division, said "The Arrow weapon system, which was one of the first in the world to intercept ballistic missiles, will be upgraded with a significant capability, produced by IAI, in the form of the Arrow-4 interceptor. The interceptor will be the most advanced of its kind in the world and will provide a new layer of defense to the State of Israel and its citizens."

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