Israel said on Thursday it is developing a new ballistic missile shield, the Arrow-4, with the United States, another layer in a defensive system built with an eye towards Iran.
The Arrow system — currently made up of the Arrow, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptor missiles — represents the longest range of Israel’s air defense network, designed predominantly to shoot down ballistic and cruise missiles, including those that could be used to carry a nuclear warhead or other non-conventional munitions.
"The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement.
U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. John Hill said the “Arrow 4 illustrates U.S. commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”
Israeli leaders have described Iran's ballistic missile program as a threat to Israel and the world. Iran says its missile development is defensive and aimed at deterring attack.
The Defense Ministry said Israel Aerospace Industries would serve as the prime contractor for the Arrow-4. Boeing and Israel's Elbit Systems are also part of the Arrow defense project.