“The United States is completely and unwaveringly committed to Israel’s security. We’re going to continue working with Israel to develop all necessary defenses and to make sure that Israel can defend itself from all threats in the area,” said Daniel Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel, at today’s working visit to the Palmachim airbase.
The ambassador met with the Sword Shield unit, which operates the Arrow antitactical ballistic missile program and maintains US-Israel cooperation on missile defense. Shapiro came to the Palmachim airbase “to learn from the commanders here about Israel’s capabilities” and left impressed by US-Israel cooperation on the Arrow antitactical ballistic missile program.
The Arrow 3 defense system
“The United States and Israel are working intensively on the development of the Arrow 3 defense system that we promise to complete as soon as possible,” said Shapiro. “We know that the threats in the Middle East are becoming more severe, more sophisticated and more dangerous.”
An advanced model of the Arrow system, the “Reshef” Arrow 3 will be designed to intercepting long-range missiles in the upper atmosphere and space.
Safeguarding Israel from long-range missile attacks
Israel’s Armor: The Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile System
Developed to defend Israel against long-range missile attacks, the Arrow anti-ballistic missile program is one of the most advanced active defense systems in the world. The Arrow is designed to identify, locate and destroy ballistic missiles headed for Israel.
The Arrow is a centerpiece of the US-Israel strategic relationship, enhancing US security efforts and suppling key research and technology for US theater missile defense programs. Launched in the mid-1980s in Israel, the program was originally part of the US “Star Wars” missile-defense program. For the first time on September 23, 1992, the Arrow 1 intercepted a target missile—representative of potential ballistic missile threats facing Israel—successfully ending the system’s preliminary testing phase.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the project’s primary contractor. A majority of the Arrow system components are provided by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Military Industries (IMI).
In March 2000, the Arrow 2 was declared operational and adopted by the Israel Air Force as means for shooting down enemy missiles at high speed and altitude. It is deployed for use throughout the country.