The Israel Defense Prize was given Monday evening to the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile project. The prize was also given to a project led by the Prime Minister's Office, whose details were not made public.
The Arrow 3 is an Israeli developed, long-range, surface-to-surface missile system that is funded by several Israeli security organizations, namely the Israel Aerospace Industries, the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Defense Ministry and the Israeli Air Force. It is considered one of the best anti-missile defense systems in the world, due to its long-range capabilities and high precision level.
Though its details were not revealed, the second project to be given the award was chosen due to its "extraordinary operational daring, combined with impressive technological innovation."
The award was presented to the two projects' representatives by President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott and Defense Ministry Dir. Gen. and IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam.
It was Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who originally decided to award such a prize, as a way of acknowledging the contributions of developers to the young state's security. The prize itself is named after Eliyahu Golomb, who was a commander in the Jewish resistance organization the Haganah. So far, the award has been given to 178 projects and over a thousand individual recipients. 52 people have won the award twice, and seven have won it more than twice.
Among the projects to receive the Israeli Defense Prize are the Uzi machine gun, the Galil assault rifle, the Gabriel missile, the Popeye missile, the Merkava tank, the Calanit artillery shell and the Iron Dome defense system.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Rivlin said, "The Israeli public doesn't know how much it owes you, the recipients. Those who live in our area know that we must be quicker, sharper and more sophisticated to win against those who wish us ill. You have chosen to dedicate your creativity, not to look after your own interests, not to wait until you make it big. In 2017, this is not taken for granted.
"In this day and age, those who dedicate themselves, their creativity, their initiatives and their dreams to Israel's security, deserve the recognition, respect and above all the greatest of hugs from the citizens of Israel."