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Air Force receives first long-range Arrow 3 missile defence system

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Israel’s Air Force yesterday took delivery of its first Arrow 3 missile interceptor, marking a significant step forward for Israel’s long-range missile defence capability.

At an unveiling ceremony yesterday Moshe Patel, head of Israel’s missile defence programme said Israel was entering a new age with much greater missile interception capabilities that can be utilised from larger distances. The Arrow 3 has been in development for almost ten years. It is designed to disable intercontinental ballistic missiles and is considered one of the world’s most advanced missile-defence systems. It successfully intercepted a missile in testing for the first time a year ago. The Arrow 3 has been jointly developed by the Israel Defence Ministry’s Missile Defence Organisation and the US Missile Defence Agency, but has been produced by Israel Aerospace Industry.

Alongside the Iron Dome, Arrow 2 and David’s Sling systems, the Arrow 3 is part of Israel’s layered aerial defence system, developed in coordination with the United States. The Iron Dome defence system, which was widely successfully deployed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, provides protection from short and mid-range ballistic threats, typically from Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Other surface-to-air interceptors including Arrow 3 are designed to counter the threat of longer range missiles, including the likes of Iranian Shihab-3 missiles. Together, these systems aim to provide Israel with a protective umbrella to counter all forms of ballistic threats.