The IAF is currently using the PAC-2 system, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. In the new system, each launcher is equipped with 16 missiles instead of four; each missile weighs 320 kilograms and is 5 meters in length.
The advanced PAC-3 system is capable of intercepting aircraft, rockets and cruise missiles.
The decision to acquire the new system was based on the progress made by Syria and Iran in the field of fighter jets, and on the fact the Syrian army has recently obtained longer-range missiles.
While Israel is currently working on developing anti-ballistic missiles, the system is only expected to be operational in five years.
The IAF will need to modify and upgrade the PAC-2 missile launchers and radar system to accommodate the PAC-3.