חץ: הגנה על ישראל
המוצר: מערכת הגנה נגד טילים בליסטיים
החברה: התעשייה האווירית וחברות נוספות
תחילת הפיתוח: 1988
Product: Ballistic Missile Defense System
Company: Israel Aerospace Industries and others
Start of Development: 1988
Israelis dreamed of an ambitious, sophisticated defense system that could shield their skies from long-range missiles for many years. The turning point arrived in 1985, when the US and Israel passed the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act as a component of the Strategic Defense Initiative commonly known as Star Wars, initiated by US President Reagan.
In 1988, the collaboration was underway for the development of a missile defense system to counter anti-ballistic missiles, such as missiles launched from relatively distant countries with rapidly progressing technology. The system offered by IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) was selected because it was innovative and bold.
Development of the weapons system and Arrow interceptors was conducted by the primary system contractor—the MLM Division of the IAI. The Arrow, which at the time was a conceptual and technological pioneer, was invented in the MLM factory. On the Israeli side, system development is directed by the Homa Administration at Maf’at (Hebrew acronym for the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure) for the Ministry of Defense, together with the American MDA (Missile Defense Agency). Other key contractors include Elta—a subsidiary of the IAI, Elisra, IMI Systems, Rafael and Boeing.
After a series of development tests conducted for the Arrow 1 project, the first successful Arrow missile test was held in 1992. Following to successes and advanced ballistic missile interception capabilities demonstrated by the precise target impact of the interceptor, a development program was subsequently launched for the operational model, the Arrow 2. In 2000, the Arrow system became operational in the Israeli Air Force.
After years of R&D aimed at offering a response to new challenges and threats, 2008 saw the early development of the Arrow 3, which is designed to operate as an uppermost layer of defense, intercepting missiles while still in space.
Arrow 3, with groundbreaking technologies on a global scale, is known as one of the most effective, inimitable interceptors in the world.
The Arrow system is considered one of the most advanced of its kind in the world. Its development is still ongoing, as it is continuously adapted to address new threats and challenges. It constitutes a key component in Israel’s multi-faceted defense system, which also includes Iron Dome and Magic Wand. Developers of the Arrow system were awarded the Israel Defense Prize in 2003 and 2017 thanks to its trailblazing innovation and its globally unparalleled technological capabilities.