Arrow Passes Toughest Test Yet

Israel’s defense establishment conducted a successful test of the Arrow Block 3 missile defense system February 11 for the first time during the night. The test, the 15th for the interceptor, the 10th for the complete weapon system, is part of the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP), which is being carried out jointly by Israel and the United States.

Israel’s defense establishment conducted a successful test of the Arrow Block 3 missile defense system February 11 for the first time during the night. The test, the 15th for the interceptor, the 10th for the complete weapon system, is part of the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP), which is being carried out jointly by Israel and the United States.

The Arrow systems test was conducted for the first time at night and was held less than two weeks after Syria tested an advanced model of its Scud missile. Brig. Gen. Danny Milo, commander of the IDF/Air Force’s Anti Aircraft Division, said that the successful test of the Arrow proved that the system was capable of countering all of the current threats Israel faced from Iran and Syria. “The Arrow answers all of the relevant threats to the State of Israel although it is important to stress that there is no such thing as hermetic defense,” Milo said, adding that Sunday night’s 9:17 p.m. test was the first time that an Arrow launch and interception was conducted completely by soldiers from the Anti Aircraft Division, according to The Jerusalem Post, February 11, 2007.

Coming in the wake of the Syrian missile test and of the July-August battles with Hezbollah when the terror organization launched thousands of short-range Katyusha-type artillery rockets into Northern Israel, the Arrow test served to boost Israeli home front morale. Never before had Israel’s defense establishment made public so much information on an Arrow test.

“We can’t ignore the environment we live in and what we hear about threats towards Israel. Civilians want to know how the [Arrow] performs. Today they can know that they can sleep at night and be sure the defense establishment can protect them,” Yossi Weiss, manager of IAI’s Space Division, explained to YNET, Feb. 12.

According to Jerusalem Post defense reporter Yaakov Katz, the Black Sparrow target missile, produced by Rafael, was designed to simulate an incoming Iranian Shihab missile. A release put out by lead contractor Israel Aerospace Industry/MLM Division, however, took pains to note that the target missile “simulated a yet nonexistent ballistic missile operating under extreme conditions.”

Weiss was not so coy. “The profile of the threats is known. Future experiments will address additional threats. The Arrow is the basic response, but there are additional threats to account, coming from [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, and we won’t go into detail. The defense establishment and the defense industries are doing all they can to prepare for the various threats coming from our enemies,” Weiss said, according to YNET

According to Israeli officials quoted by Defense News, Feb. 15, 2007, the Black Sparrow target missile was programmed to simulate the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles that are expected to be deployed by Iran in coming years. The upgraded defensive system demonstrated its ability to intercept targets at higher altitudes and longer ranges, so that fallout from such mass destructive warheads would remain far away from Israeli territory. “We widened the defensive envelope,” said Uri Sinai, manager of IAI’s MLM Division, which designed and produces the Arrow interceptor. “What distinguished this test was the special target, which was simulated to represent the extreme, difficult conditions in which the Arrow Weapon System may have to operate in the future.”

It was the first so-called distributed weapon system test conducted in Israel, which required two Arrow units deployed some 60 miles from one another to share data on incoming threats and coordinate launching assignments. It was also the first time the U.S. Link 16 data distribution system was used to connect two Arrow units, although the system had been used in previous tests to connect Arrow and Patriot batteries, sources in Israel told Defense News.

In related news, the Iranian government announced last week that it is producing ballistic missiles with 2,000-kilometer ranges (about 1,243 miles), and new warheads. The announced range places Israel within striking distance.

The test success paved the way for an announcment days later that the U.S. Department of Defense has agreed to a five-year extension of joint testing and upgrades of the U.S.-Israel Arrow system. Initial plans called for ASIP to conclude in 2008, but the growing threat posed by increasingly advanced ballistic missiles to both the U.S. and Israel warranted renewal of the program, U.S. and Israeli sources told Defense News. Program officials said the Pentagon’s MDA not only agreed to extend ASIP through 2009, but allocated significant funding through 2013 for so-called post-ASIP endeavors.

According to MDA’s five-year spending plan, Israel is budgeted to receive $68.3 million in 2008 and $83.5 million in 2009 for Arrow upgrades and interoperability testing. Additionally, MDA has allocated approximately $80 million each year from 2010 through 2013 for post-ASIP activities, details and schedules for which will be determined by the two countries in the coming year. “We’ve started discussions on the post-ASIP program, which will allow both countries to remain way ahead of the threats we’re likely to face in the future,” Israel Air Force Col. Moshe Patel, deputy director of the Arrow Weapon System program at Israel’s Missile Defense Organization said.

Immediately after the target missile was launched from an IDF/Air Force fighter several hundred miles away over the Eastern Mediterranean, the Arrow Weapon System went into operation and followed the following sequence: The Fire Control Radar (FCR), built by Elta and referred to as ‘Green Pine’, acquired the target and sent its data to the Battle Management Command and Control (BMC), produced by Tadiran Systems and called ‘Citron Tree’. A defense plan was issued and a mission command was sent to the launcher. The Arrow interceptor was launched and flew to the interception point where its fragmentation warhead destroyed the Black Sparrow.

According to an IAI video, the target missile, once detected, was tracked by fire control radars at the Palmahim launch site south of Ashdod, the other Arrow battery site at Ein Shemer in the north of Israel as well as a Patriot battery elsewhere in Israel. The target solution and command to fire was calculated at the Ein Shemer location near Hadera and then transmitted some 50 miles to the Palmahim battery from where the interceptor was launched. The IDF’s MIM-104 Patriot low- to high-altitude air defense batteries, built by Raytheon, provide a lower layer of defense in the event Arrow interceptors fail to destroy incoming ballistic missiles.

An Israeli defense official told The Jerusalem Post that the Arrow system is now capable of intercepting all of Syria and Iran’s ballistic missiles. In addition to the continued development of the Arrow, the MDA recently requested of the U.S. government information concerning American-made missile defense systems including the Theater High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. “If the need arises, we will need to be ready to receive additional U.S. systems in the region to beef up our defenses and we will need to know already now how all of the systems will work together,” the official said.

The objectives of this latest Arrow system test, according to the IAI release, included evaluation of the widened interception envelope and testing of the system in an integrated operational configuration engaging two batteries located at a distance from each other. “The next test, which will be conducted in a few months, will be a significant step up in the Arrow system’s performance,” Weiss said.

The Feb. 11 interception was the first time that both Arrow batteries – in Palmahim and in Ein Shemer in the north of Israel – were jointly activated during a test. Officials from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Boeing were on hand at Palmahim to view the test, according to The Jerusalem Post. “Beyond the fact that the test was carried out at night, we wanted the distant battery to be the one to spot the threat and work to destroy it, while the other battery receives data but remains passive to the interception,” a source close to the project told YNET

The Arrow interceptor missile belonged to the first series of M-4 interceptors jointly produced by Boeing and IAI’s MLM Division at Boeing Integrated Defense System’s Huntsville, Alabama plant. Israel Military Industries (IMI) is responsible for the first stage engine and Rafael for the second stage engine.

The last Arrow test was conducted successfully in December 2005 and intercepted an incoming missile at the highest-ever altitude. That test followed two partially successful tests in the summer of 2004, when the Arrow was launched in California from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu near Los Angeles.

The next Arrow test is expected to be conducted by early April and will feature an entirely new Block-4 version of the Arrow Weapon System. Reportedly, the upcoming test will be limited to a flyout of a new, improved-acceleration Arrow missile interceptor, and will not involve destruction of a simulated target.

One test against a live Scud was intercepted and destroyed at an altitude of about 40 kilometers. A second test was aimed at examining the Arrow’s ability to detect a splitting warhead. It detected the true target, but a technical malfunction reportedly prevented it from maneuvering to strike it.


Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 12/8
Published on December 8, 2023
Iran on Nuclear Precipice as Oversight Dwindles
Published on December 7, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 12/7
Published on December 7, 2023
The pandemic of academic antisemitism
Published on December 6, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 12/6
Published on December 6, 2023
Iran Summary – November 2023
Published on December 4, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 12/4
Published on December 4, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 12/1
Published on December 1, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/29
Published on November 29, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/28
Published on November 28, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/27
Published on November 27, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/22
Published on November 22, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/21
Published on November 21, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/20
Published on November 20, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/16
Published on November 16, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/15
Published on November 15, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/14
Published on November 14, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/13
Published on November 13, 2023
Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 11/10
Published on November 10, 2023
Deterrence Through Strength
Published on November 2, 2023
As Jewish students, we are no longer safe on our US campuses
Published on October 26, 2023
A Joint American-Israeli Redline on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Published on September 14, 2023
How US Marines Can Protect Commercial Shipping in the Gulf
Published on September 12, 2023
To Counter Iran at Sea, US Must Sell Partners on Doing More
Published on July 12, 2023
Israel’s Multifront Escalation
Published on May 12, 2023
Without Alexandroupolis, Transatlantic Security Is Dead in the Water
Published on August 29, 2022
Expand Israel-Morocco Security Cooperation to Counter Malign Influence in Africa
Published on August 9, 2022
The Nuclear Deal That Biden Should Be Worrying About
Published on July 20, 2022
Why Biden Should Exit the Iran Talks
Published on March 19, 2022
No more extending the clock on the Iran nuclear deal
Published on February 22, 2022
U.S. Needs to Deliver on Its Promise to Fund Israel’s Iron Dome
Published on February 17, 2022
Could Saudi Arabia Help Save Biden’s Flailing Presidency?
Published on February 8, 2022
Why Has Biden Stopped Pushing for Arab-Israeli Peace?
Published on January 19, 2022
Iran Negotiations Need Clear End Date for Any Agreement
Published on December 1, 2021
Israel’s Success Must Not Obscure Increase in Hamas Capabilities
Published on November 23, 2021
America should re-envision the Eastern Med as a multi-theater power-projection platform
Published on November 20, 2021
Don’t Believe Iran’s Claims of Another Nuclear Milestone
Published on November 1, 2021
After Afghanistan: Israel Will Bear a Greater Burden for Upholding Stability
Published on August 28, 2021
Is Iran Bluffing About Its Enriched Uranium Stockpile?
Published on July 28, 2021
The Iran Deal May Still Be Dead
Published on June 28, 2021
U.S. Must Strengthen Israel’s Deterrence
Published on June 3, 2021
Learn From Gaza, Prepare For Hezbollah
Published on May 24, 2021
The US Must Not Rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal
Published on March 21, 2021
Biden and Congress Must Act Against Calls To Condition Aid To Israel
Published on March 3, 2021
The Case for a Strategic Pivot to Greece and Cyprus
Published on November 19, 2020
Turkey and Russia’s Endgame in Libya—And Why America Should Not Stand Still
Published on October 30, 2020
Now is the Time for Kuwait to Join the Growing Anti-Iran Coalition
Published on October 21, 2020
Selling F-35 Jets to Qatar Poses a Direct Threat to Israel
Published on October 17, 2020
What the Transformation of the Marine Corps Can Learn from Israel
Published on October 7, 2020
The Road to a War Within NATO
Published on September 19, 2020
Israel’s War of Attrition is Potently Relevant Today
Published on August 11, 2020
Don’t Let Turks & Russians Carve up Libya
Published on July 28, 2020
Washington Needs to Act Fast on Libya, Before It’s Too Late
Published on June 15, 2020
Rolling Back Iran in Iraq
Published on May 13, 2020
Bringing the Yemen Conflict to an End
Published on May 1, 2020
America’s Military Commitment in the Sinai is Important to Regional Stability
Published on March 16, 2020
The Case For a Political Warfare Campaign Against Iran
Published on March 1, 2020
China is Making Middle East Moves
Published on February 10, 2020
China in the Eastern Med
Published on February 5, 2020
The Right Strategy For Iran Isn’t Regime Change. It’s Regime Collapse.
Published on January 8, 2020
President Trump Should Worry About Iran’s Military
Published on January 3, 2020
After The Rockets: Stalemate For Now, But What Are The Next Moves?
Published on November 21, 2019
New Signs Iran is Creeping Closer to Making a Nuclear Bomb
Published on November 12, 2019
Consequences of the US Withdrawal from Syria
Published on October 26, 2019
Contesting Iran’s Gray Zone Strategy
Published on October 18, 2019
Why the U.S. Should Change Its Approach Toward the Palestinian Authority
Published on October 9, 2019
How Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Easily Could Become a ‘Sneakout’
Published on September 12, 2019
Iran’s Nuclear Clock is Ticking Once Again. Here’s How to Stop It
Published on July 11, 2019
US Should Sanction Hezbollah-Controlled Govt. to Counter Attack Tunnels in Lebanon
Published on March 21, 2019
In Gaza, Israel Is Complying With the Law of Armed Conflict While Hamas Exploits It
Published on March 4, 2019
US Must Begin Bolstering Regional Allies to Mitigate Fallout from Syria Withdrawal
Published on December 21, 2018
Syria’s S-300 Gift From Russia
Published on November 21, 2018
Laws of Armed Conflict in Gaza
Published on August 14, 2018
Commentary: The U.S. is Right to Restore Aid to Egypt
Published on July 30, 2018
The U.S. Should Go Around Erdogan to Engage Turkey
Published on June 6, 2018
Congress is Overdue to Pass the Taylor Force Act
Published on March 4, 2018
Iran’s Close Encounters With the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf
Published on September 21, 2016
Iran Needs to Take America Seriously Again
Published on July 14, 2016
Time to Seize the High Ground on Nuclear Weapons
Published on June 7, 2016
The Overlooked Iranian Missile Threat
Published on February 21, 2016
U.S. Must Mandate Zero Oil Exports for Iran
Published on July 25, 2013
Spring Trap
Published on March 31, 2011