Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Arrow 3 missile interceptor tested for the first time in Israel

Israel has tested for the first time the Arrow 3 anti-missile interceptor. The Arrow 3 is the latest version of the Arrow missile program that is jointly being developed and funded by the United States and its Missile Defense Agency.

The primary contractors are Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, which is also the lead contractor of the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) program in the US.

The test did not involve a target, but a full exoatmospheric test is planned for the future. The Arrow missile forms the upper layer of Israel's multi-layered missile defense. It is complemented at lower altitudes by David's Sling and the Iron Dome.

Unlike its predessor, the Arrow 2, which destroys its target with a proximity warhead, the Arrow 3 destroys its target with a kinetic collision or hit-to-kill technology.

The Arrow 3 will be lighter and smaller than the Arrow 2, while also being faster and able to engage targets at higher altitudes.

The two-stage, solid-fueled Arrow 2 which has served Israel since 2000, has:
  • a length of 680 mm
  • a winspan of 820 mm
  • a weight of 2800 kg
  • a warhead of 150 kg 
  • a maximum speed of Mach 9
  • a maximum ceiling of 60 km
The missile is guided by a dual-mode infrared and active radar seeker.

Israel is currently the only country operating the Arrow system. Attempts by India to acquire the Arrow 2 from Israel were rejected by the US as joint partner of the Arrow program.

However, India was able to acquire components of the system, such as the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar system in 2005, which can detect targets at a range of up to 500 km. 


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