The Israel Missile Defence Organisation and the U.S. Missile Defence Agency Commence Development of the Arrow-4 Weapon System

February 18, 2021 Photo(s): By IMOD & IAI
Arrow 4 weapon system

The Israel Missile Defence Organisation (IMDO), in the Directorate of Defence R&D (MAFAT) of the Israel Ministry of Defence, and the U.S. Missile Defence 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 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 defence 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 defence. 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. Over the past few years, both of the interceptors were upgraded, and demonstrated excellent capabilities during successful tests held in Israel and in Alaska, U.S.

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

U.S. Missile Defence Agency Director, Vice Admiral John Hill said, “Arrow-4 is a cooperative programme between the MDA and IMDO that illustrates U.S. commitment to assisting the Government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defence capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”

Head of the Israel Missile Defence Organisation, Moshe Patel, commented that “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 defence program with our American partners. Over the last three decades, we have developed one of the most advanced missile defence 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 the IAI/MLM Division, said that “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 defence to the State of Israel and its citizens.”