The system's development over the past few years included a number of test launches of missiles and interceptors into space. Now, after the Defense Ministry's Weapons and Technological Infrastructure Development Administration delivered the interceptors, the IAF will begin the process of integrating the system so it can become operational immediately.
Arrow 3 joins Israel’s three-tiered air defense system, which also includes the Iron Dome, which is capable of intercepting short-range rockets; David’s Sling, set to be used against heavy medium-range rockets and enemy drones, which is currently in an advance stage of integration ahead of becoming operational; and Arrow 2, capable of shooting down long-range ballistic missiles.
Arrow 3, which was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) together with the US Missile Defense Agency, is in the upper tier, and can intercept missiles capable of leaving the earth's atmosphere before making their descent toward their target.
According to the Defense Ministry, "the Arrow 3 interceptor is considered one of the best interceptors in the world, equipped with breakthrough technology on a global scale."
As part of the process of making the system operational, its developers—together with their American partners—are expected to conduct further testing for Arrow 3 in the coming year.
"We're entering a new era today, the Arrow 3 Era," said Moshe Patel, who leads the missile defense projects in the Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
"Today, we delivered an initial Arrow 3 system to the IAF, which has defense and interception capabilities much superior and far-reaching than we've known thus far," Patel continued.
Arrow 3, he said, "allows—with a far better technological capabilities—to have a more significant window of interception and provides better protection to the State of Israel against long-range missiles."
The commander of aerial defense, Brig. Gen. Zvika Yachimovich, said he was "confident this system—along with the other existing systems and those that will be integrated in the future like David's Sling—will provide us with a more effective and significant capability to defend the State of Israel."
Boaz Levy of the IAI added, "We're delivering an arms system to the IAF that includes several interceptors, radar, and a control and command system that knows how to intercept the various threats, in different altitudes, both inside the atmosphere and outside of it."