Israel’s Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor kills ‘enemy’ ICBM in space


view videoIn Thursday’s critical test, the Arrow 3 missile defense system, that travels at twice the speed of a tank shell to leave the atmosphere, operates in space where it’s designed to seek & destroy Iran’s Shihab 3 ICBM missiles.


The Defense Minister with the US Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency carried out a critical test of the Arrow 3 anti ballistic missile defense system on Thursday morning.

The Arrow 3 missile defense system operates in space, traveling at twice the speed of a tank shell to leave the atmosphere. It is designed to seek and destroy Iranian Shihab 3 missiles, as well as other long-range projectiles.

A Defense Ministry source that the Arrow 3 interceptor carried out all phases of its flight according to plan, and successfully destroyed the target. The interception itself occurred in space.

“We can confirm a complete success this morning (Thursday),” said Yair Ramati, of the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons. “At 8:10 we launched the intercepting missile at the target and hit it. It is the best result possible.”

Weighing less than half of the Arrow 2 missile, the Arrow 3 creates an additional missile defense layer in space. Together with the Arrow 2 system, Arrow 3 gives the military two to three opportunities to intercept long-range missiles.

Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor in successful test launch near Ashdod, Israel, 10 Dec 2015 – Photo: Amir Cohen/Reuters

The Arrow 3 does not need to know the exact location of the incoming missile when it takes off to intercept it. Once in space, it locates the target rapidly.

The Arrow 3 is part of a developing multi-layered missile defense shield, consisting of the Arrow 3 at the outer perimeter, followed by Arrow 2, which stops ballistic missiles in the upper atmosphere. Lower down, the David’s Sling (also known as Magic Wand) system is designed to stop intermediate rockets and missiles, and the Iron Dome is in place to intercept short-range and medium-range rockets.

Arrow 3 used the Golden Citron command and control system, which is produced by Elbit Systems, and functions as the beating heart of the missile defense system, the defense company said.

Golden Citron “calculates that defense plan against the missile, classifies the target, estimates the threat, and plans the interception, as well as taking the decision on when and how to fire the interceptor,” Elbit said.

Golden Citron, which has been operational since 2000, is linked in to all other weapons systems, and focuses data that pours in from satellites, radar systems, and electro-optic sensors.


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