TechArrow 4 Anti-Missle System is Israel's great hope for defense

Arrow 4 Anti-Missle System is Israel's great hope for defense

Arrow-4 is set to protect the sky over Israel - illustrative picture.
Arrow-4 is set to protect the sky over Israel - illustrative picture.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

8:39 AM EDT, October 20, 2023

The conflict between Israel and Hamas expedited the implementation of a weapon that the Israeli military industry has been working on for some time. The Israeli Defense Forces decided, among other things, to deploy the Iron Beam laser air defense system earlier, even though the initial plan was to make it available in 2025. Questions also arise about the future of the Arrow 4 system, which would help Israelis destroy missiles fired by enemies.

Questions about the Arrow 4 missile defense system arise in connection with the expiration on October 18 of provisions set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), aimed at limiting the development of Iran's ballistic missile program. Iran, as part of the agreement, committed to limiting its nuclear program and abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It also agreed to numerous technical restrictions and committed not to undertake any activity related to the testing of ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. In return, the process of lifting international economic sanctions imposed on Tehran by the West has begun.

In a press release from the U.S. State Department on October 18, it could be read that the resolution "was based on the assumption that Iran would take the necessary steps to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program". However, this did not happen. Iran continued to take actions threatening peace in the world. For example, in 2017, it conducted a test of a medium-range ballistic missile, explaining that it was not a missile designed to carry nuclear warheads. His argument was considered valid by the representative of Russia in the UN Security Council, although many countries suggested that the tests constitute a violation of the resolution's provisions. Iran also increased its budget for the development of ballistic missiles.

Now, when Tehran is no longer subject to any restrictions under resolution no. 2231 (2015) of the UN, work on the development of ballistic missiles can pick up momentum. Additionally, shipments of this type of weapon to and from Iran will not require the prior consent of the UN Security Council. This raises real concerns that Iran can expand military support to its allies. This is particularly dangerous in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, involved in the conflict with Israel, who have Iran's support.

Israel has an advanced multi-layered missile defense shield, but even it has its weaknesses. For this reason, the Israel Defense Forces decide to implement weapons earlier, which is being worked on by the national defense industry. An example is the early deployment of the Iron Beam laser air defense system, or Sa'ar 6 missile corvettes. There are also questions about the Arrow-4 system, designed specifically with the threats posed by Iranian ballistic missiles in mind, which under current conditions may fall into the wrong hands.

Israel is working on the Arrow 4 missile defense system

Israel, in cooperation with the United States, already made the decision in 2021 to begin work on the Arrow 4 system. The project is being developed by the Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA). According to plans, it is expected to be the next generation of the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missile defense systems, capable of intercepting even hypersonic weaponry. These systems form the upper layer of the multi-layered missile defense shield (in addition to them, the Iron Dome and David's Sling are part of it). Arrow 2 defends against short and medium range ballistic missiles, while Arrow 3 combats medium and long range weapons.

Arrow 3 is recognized as Israel's most advanced long-range missile defense system. From the available information, it can intercept ballistic missiles even when they are outside the Earth's atmosphere. Arrow 3 allows for the destruction of missiles and their warheads from a distance of even about 1553 miles. In practice, this means that it can eliminate threats closer to their launch sites.

Arrow 4 is set to significantly surpass these capabilities and be the most advanced solution of this type in the world. There are reports that its production will be cheaper than the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems. For now, it is unknown at what stage of development the Arrow 4 system is. It's possible that new information about this advanced missile interception system will appear in the near future.

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