Israel ramped up its missile defense capabilities Wednesday with the delivery of a state-of-the-art system — developed in part by Boeing — designed to strike targets outside Earth’s atmosphere.
The Arrow-3 missile defense system will form the uppermost layer of Israel’s multilayered defense system, Israel Defense Forces officials have said.
It was expected to protect from ballistic missiles capable of flying thousands of miles. Iran has tested such missiles several times in the past, defying international sanctions.
Arrow-3 was delivered to the Israeli Air Force Wednesday morning, joining the Iron Dome, the Arrow-2 and David’s Sling.
Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich, the head of IDF Aerial Defense Command, said that together the systems would give Israel a protective umbrella, countering threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah and terror groups in Gaza firing short-range missiles.
Israel Aerospace Industries worked together with Boeing to develop the Arrow-3. The project was co-managed by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, a division of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Israeli officials said IMDO would continue to work with the U.S. in developing additional capabilities for the system.
The delivery took place about a year after the last successful intercept that proved the system’s ability to detect, track and destroy ballistic missile targets in space. The Arrow-3 test program began in 2013. Its final test flight was in December 2015.