TechIsrael's Arrow-3 intercepts 120 Iranian missiles, including in outer space

Israel's Arrow-3 intercepts 120 Iranian missiles, including in outer space

Arrow-3 - missile launch
Arrow-3 - missile launch
Images source: © Agencia de Defensa de Misiles de Estados Unidos
5:32 AM EDT, April 15, 2024

Many recordings capturing the shootdowns of Iranian ballistic missiles have surfaced online, showcasing the moments when the targets are intercepted, some even in outer space.

The Israeli anti-missile defense system recently intercepted a barrage of 120 Iranian ballistic missiles, successfully neutralizing the majority of them. Clips of these interceptions, including those in outer space, are now available online.

Arrow-3 System – Israel's Anti-Ballistic Shield

Israel initiated the development of the Arrow-3 system in 2007, opting to create a homegrown solution for greater security and reliability than buying the American THAAD system, detailed in a report here. Despite this, it's noteworthy that 50% of the system's components are still manufactured in the USA.

The development process was challenging, leading to the first system test in 2013. After several trials, the first ballistic missile interception was successfully executed in 2019. The inaugural successful interception happened on January 22, with a follow-up on January 28, 2019, which also tested the integration with the AN/TPY-2 radar.

That same year, Israel and the USA reached an agreement for the joint mass production of Arrow-3 components, substantially supported by American funding. From 2008 to 2019, the United States contributed $3.8 billion towards the system's development.

The Arrow-3 system is designed to engage targets up to 1,491 miles away and at altitudes exceeding 62 miles, making it capable of neutralizing threats in low Earth orbit. Its missile technology employs a two-stage approach: the first stage aims to reach a specified altitude, while the second carries a guided 330-pound fragmentation warhead.

This warhead, equipped with active radar guidance and its thrust-vectoring rocket engine, ensures exceptional maneuverability for hitting targets. The capability to intercept at high altitudes is crucial for safeguarding against missiles carrying chemical or nuclear warheads, as their destruction at low altitudes within the atmosphere could lead to dire consequences.

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