Israel Aerospace Industries, which is developing the Arrow-3, is
currently performing ground testing of the new missile, which will
intercept incoming ballistic missiles using kinetic kill instead of
proximity warhead detonation as with the operational Arrow-2.
Israeli sources say the Arrow-3 will be the most advanced ballistic
missile interceptor in the world. They say it will be “very energetic”
and have “super manoeuvrability”, enabling it to change its trajectory
to engage another target that was detected after launch.
The sources say the Arrow-3 will be deployed in parallel to the
Arrow-2, and the type to be launched will be determined by the fire
The need for a longer-range kinetic kill interceptor stems from the threat posed by Scud-type missiles with 400-600km (216-324nm) range that Syria deploys, and designs with a 2,000km range, like Iran’s Shihab-type weapons.
The Arrow-3 will provide an additional layer in Israel’s multi-layered defence system, which the nation has built to protect its territory from rockets and missiles.
Rafael’s Iron Dome system has recently proved its capability to destroy salvos from short-range rockets. The company and Raytheon are also developing David’s Sling, a system designed to intercept longer-range rockets like the Iranian-designed Fatah-110 by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
The Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missiles will provide the upper layer, with the two planned to work separately or together to improve interception probabilities.