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WATCH: Israel Bolsters Air Defenses With Arrow 3 Anti-Missile System

The Israeli Air Force on Wednesday received its first Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptors, the latest in the military’s multi-layered missile defense system, the Defense Ministry said.

Arrow 3, which has been under development for years and passed several tests involving launching interceptors into space, will be integrated into the military’s existing rocket and missile defense systems.

“Arrow 3 joins Israel’s three-tiered air defense system, which also includes the Iron Dome, which is capable of intercepting short-range rockets; David’s Sling, set to be used against heavy medium-range rockets and enemy drones, which is currently in an advance stage of integration ahead of becoming operational; and Arrow 2, capable of shooting down long-range ballistic missiles,” Ynet reported.

Arrow 3 was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in conjunction with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. It is designed to intercept missiles that were launched into the earth’s atmosphere before descending towards their targets.

Defense News reported that Arrow 3 will be integrated with Arrow 2 as part of the U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System (AWS):

Designed to fly nearly twice as high at half the weight of Arrow-2 — which covers the lower-tier segment of AWS — Arrow-3 is Israel’s first line of defense against advanced, maneuvering Iranian Shihab-class ballistic missiles.

The interceptor is expected to provide multiple opportunities to destroy targets in space, with backup provided by Arrow-2, also produced by IAI with key components produced in the US by Boeing.

According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, “the Arrow 3 interceptor is considered one of the best interceptors in the world, equipped with breakthrough technology on a global scale.”

Israel and its American partners will continue testing the interceptor over the next year in the process of making it fully operational.

“We’re entering a new era today, the Arrow 3 Era,” said Col. (ret.) Moshe Patel, who heads Israel’s missile defense program.

“Today, we delivered an initial Arrow 3 system to the IAF, which has defense and interception capabilities much superior and far-reaching than we’ve known thus far,” he added.

Patel explained that the Arrow 3 “allows—with a far better technological capabilities—to have a more significant window of interception and provides better protection to the State of Israel against long-range missiles.”

Brig. Gen. Zvika Yachimovich, Israel’s commander of aerial defense, expressed confidence that “this system—along with the other existing systems and those that will be integrated in the future like David’s Sling—will provide us with a more effective and significant capability to defend the State of Israel.”

[Photo: / YouTube ]