The Arrow 3 or Hetz 3 (Hebrew: חֵץ 3, pronounced [ˈχet͡s]) is an anti-ballistic missile, jointly funded and developed by Israel. Undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, it is overseen by the Israeli Ministry of Defense's "Homa" (Hebrew: חומה, pronounced [χoma], "rampart") administration and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. It will provide exo-atmospheric interception of ballistic missiles.
According to numerous Israeli experts, it is also possible that the Arrow 3 could serve as an anti-satellite weapon.
By August 2008 the United States and Israeli governments have initiated development of an upper-tier component to the Israeli Air Defense Command, known as Arrow 3, "with a kill ratio of around 99 percent". The development is based on an architecture definition study conducted in 2006–2007, determining the need for the upper-tier component to be integrated into Israel's ballistic missile defense system. According to Arieh Herzog, then Director of Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), the main element of this upper tier will be an exoatmospheric interceptor, to be jointly developed by IAI and Boeing. Lieutenant General Patrick J. O'Reilly, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, said:
|“||The design of Arrow 3 promises to be an extremely capable system, more advanced than what we have ever attempted in the U.S. with our programs. [...] This has to do with the seekers that have greater flexibility and other aspects, such as propulsion systems – it will be an extremely capable system.||”|
The new component will also require the integration of longer range detection, tracking and discrimination capability, beyond what the "Green Pine" and "Super Green Pine" radars employed with the Arrow 2 are providing. Among the advanced sensors considered for Israel's future multi-tier system, are airborne electro-optical sensors deployed on high flying unmanned aerial vehicles and future enhanced "Green Pine" radars, as well as the AN/TPY-2 radar already deployed in Israel, and operated by U.S. forces.
The multi-billion dollar development program of the Arrow is undertaken in Israel with the financial support of the United States.
|U.S. contributions to Arrow 3 program by fiscal year. Figures in millions of U.S. dollars.|
IAI began preliminary tests of the Arrow 3 in 2011. The company will not specify what tests were performed, but they are part of the preparations for a full fly-out test. On January 23, 2012 the Israeli Ministry of Defense released photographs and video of the recent successfully fly-out tests from Palmachim Airbase. During the tests, a model of the interceptor missile was launched in order to check the starting and propulsion system, as well as other tracking sensors.
On January 23, 2012 IAI announced an agreement to jointly work on the Arrow 3 with Boeing. Boeing is responsible for 40-50 percent of the production content of the Arrow 3. Expected work content includes motorcases, shroud, canister, safe & arm / ignition devices, power devices (batteries), and inertial navigation units, as well as several avionics packages and actuators & valves.
On February 25, 2013 a fly-out test of the Arrow 3 was conducted from Palmachim Airbase. The launch tested the missile control and engines. According to a senior defense source, the missile obtained hypersonic speed, and reached an altitude of 100 km (62 mi), entering space. It followed various objects, such as stars, and gained further altitude. Its engine stopped after six minutes.
On January 3, 2014 another successful test of the Arrow 3 was conducted from Palmachim Airbase. During the test the interceptor entered space and carried out a range of maneuvers in response to a virtual incoming enemy missile. The test involved the activation of two of the interceptor's engines, the first of which brought it into space, and the second allowing it to carry out complex maneuvers. In December 2014 Arrow 3 had an unspecified systems failure during its first live interception test.
|Arrow 3 kill vehicle on display at the 2009 Paris Air Show|
|Computer-generated image of Arrow 3 kill vehicle in space|
Israel Aerospace Industries announced in June 2009, that the Arrow 3 patented exoatmospheric interception method includes a two-stage interceptor, like the Arrow 2, but purely based on hit-to-kill technology. Unlike most kill vehicles, which use liquid or gas propulsion, the new Israeli kill vehicle will be propelled by an ordinary rocket motor equipped with a thrust-vectoring nozzle. It will also be fitted with a gimbaled seeker for hemispheric coverage. By measuring the seeker's line-of-sight propagation relative to the vehicle's motion, the kill vehicle will use proportional navigation to divert its course and line up exactly with the target's flight path. Joseph Hasson, chief missile designer at IAI, who patented the new kill vehicle with his colleague Galya Goldner, says that the concept is relatively simple, reliable and inexpensive, and is based on mature technologies. Furthermore, the kill vehicle's divert capability and agility reduce the need for detection and tracking systems, which usually accompany remote sensor-assisted exoatmospheric kills. IAI displayed a full-sized model of the Arrow 3 missile and its kill vehicle at the June 2009 Paris Air Show.
Arrow 3 should be able to intercept ballistic missiles, especially those carrying weapons of mass destruction, at altitudes of over 100 km (62 mi), and in greater ranges. It could also be ship-based. Arrow 3 is faster than the Arrow 2 and slightly smaller, weighing nearly half.
An Arrow 3 battery is expected to intercept salvos of more than five ballistic missiles within 30 seconds. Arrow 3 can be launched into an area of space before it is known where the target missile is going. When the target and its course are identified, the Arrow interceptor is redirected using its thrust-vectoring nozzle to close the gap and conduct a "body-to-body" interception.
Arrow 3 may have a reduced 30-year life-cycle cost. It should use the same launch system as Arrow 2. Reportedly it will cost $2–$3 million per unit, while program cost is estimated at some $700–$800 million over three years.
According to numerous Israeli experts, namely Prof. Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, former director of the Israeli Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure and currently the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency, it is also possible that the Arrow 3 could serve as an anti-satellite weapon.
According to Jane's Defence Weekly, a solicitation that outlines the expansion of an Israeli Air Force facility at Tal Shahar, roughly halfway between Jerusalem and Ashdod, near Beit Shemesh, indicates that almost certainly it will be used for four Arrow 3 launchers on sites cut into the surrounding hills. The estimated completion date would be around the end of 2014. Each of the four launchers will have six missiles for a total of 24 interceptors. The plans for the base were revealed in a routine United States Department of Defense contract solicitation.
- "Israel profile: Missile overview: Missile Chronology" (PDF). Nuclear Threat Initiative. January 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "Israel, U.S. to embark on collaborative 'upper-tier' missile intercept program to include Arrow 3 and land-based SM-3 missiles". Defense Update. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Eshel, David (2010-02-12). "Israel upgrades its antimissile plans". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Sharp, Jeremy M. (2014-04-11). "CRS report for Congress: U.S. foreign aid to Israel" (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- Egozi, Arie (2011-08-02). "Arrow-3: a totally different layer of protection". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Defense Ministry conducts first test of "Arrow 3" system". Israel Defense Forces. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
- Ben David, Alon (2012-01-26). "Boeing links up with IAI on Arrow-3". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Arrow II brochure" (PDF). Boeing. March 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Lappin, Yaakov (2013-02-25). "Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 missile defense". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Test launch of the missile Arrow 3
- Lappin, Yaakov (2014-01-03). "Defense Ministry: Missile shield system passes 2nd flight test". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Israel's Arrow 3 missile shield fails interception test: sources
- WO 2006003660, Hasson, Joseph & Galia Goldner, "Exo atmospheric intercepting system and method", issued 2006-01-12 .
- "IAI develops Arrow 3 interceptor in response to longer range threats". Israel Aerospace Industries. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Richardson, Doug (2009-07-09). "IAI exhibits full-size Arrow 3 at Paris". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2009-08-19. See Arrow 2 and Arrow 3. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "Arrow 3 brochure" (PDF). Israel Aerospace Industries. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Ben-Yishai, Ron (2008-07-08). "US to help Israel develop Arrow-3". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Greenberg, Hanan (2010-05-27). "Arrow 3: The new generation". Ynetnews. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- Opall-Rome, Barbara (2010-03-22). "Iran threat speeds Arrow-3 effort". Defense News. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
- Fulghum, David (2012-09-03). "Higher-altitude Arrow design to show its potential". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "Eyeing Iran, Israel slates missile shield for 2015". Ynetnews. Reuters. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- "Israel asks U.S. to support Arrow-3". Defense Update. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Opall-Rome, Barbara (2009-11-09). "Israeli experts: Arrow-3 could be adapted for anti-satellite role" (PDF). Imaginova SpaceNews.com. p. 16. Retrieved 2011-11-09. See also full article: #1 (2010-03-04).
- Binnie, Jeremy (2013). "Israeli BMD facility details revealed". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Frenkel, Sheera (2013-06-03). "U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret". The Miami Herald.