U.S., Israeli Firms Boost Joint Production of Anti-Missile Systems

Companies in Israel and the United States have ramped up production of the projectiles that are at the center of Israel’s multi-layered anti-missile defense systems, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Israel’s missile defense systems—including the Arrow-3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome—are all heavily funded by the U.S. In exchange, U.S. companies get a share of the work in developing the systems.

“In accordance with congressional mandates and our government-to-government agreements, each one of these [intercepting systems] is being produced at least 50 percent in the United States,” said Moshe Patel, director of the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization.

The Arrow-3, which aims to counter missiles in space, is being jointly designed by Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

“Significant parts of this high-performance missile designed to intercept targets deep into space are being produced in the United States. More than 20 states are involved in the production of Arrow-3,” Boaz Levy, IAI’s executive vice president, told Defense News.

The Stunner interceptor, part of the David’s Sling system,  is designed to counter mid-range missile threats and is being jointly developed by Raytheon and the state-owned Israeli company Rafael.

Pini Yungman, executive vice president of Rafael, expressed his satisfaction with the job Raytheon is doing in developing the system.

“Our U.S. partner is doing great work with production; in fact, they’re running faster than we are in transitioning to full-rate builds,” Yungman said.

Not only is Raytheon working on production of the Stunner and managing the subcontractors working on the system, it is also marketing the Stunner to approved U.S. allies for their missile defense systems. Poland has requested the interceptor and will negotiate its purchase directly with the U.S.

“We’re proud to serve as subcontractor to Raytheon in this SkyCeptor program, which integrates the Stunner into the Patriot system for Poland,” Yungman said. “This partnership with Raytheon that we’ve been working on and investing in for almost 12 years is becoming real. We’re seeing it start to translate into real contracts and big business. We’ll provide to Raytheon, Raytheon will provide to the U.S. Army and it’s a win-win for all concerned.”

Raytheon and Rafael are also jointly producing the Tamir interceptor for the Iron Dome system. Raytheon is responsible for 75 percent of the components that make up the Tamir.

[Photo: U.S. Missile Defense Agency / Flickr ]