Arrow Ballistic Missile Defense System
Arrow theatre ballistic missile defense system has a long research, development and testing history. The system has been developed since 1980's with different types of ballistic missile interceptors. Currently a highly efficient Arrow-3 ballistic missile defense system is being develope.
Interestingly, the system was deployed almost a decade earlier than the critics expected. The negative predictions with regard to the budgetary costs were unfouded, too. The first Arrow-2 completed battery was delivered to the Israeli army in 2000, followed by a second battery in 2002. Operation range of the Arrow-2 ballistic missile defense system is around 60 miles.
The joint test, in July 2004, was the first test against a real rather than simulated. The target was a short-range ballistic missile - Scud-B - commontly used against the targets in Israel. A full Arrow battery was transported to the Point Mugu naval range in California and the Scud-B was successfully intercepted and destroyed at an altitude of 25 miles.
The United States cooperates on research, development and production of the Arrow ballistic missile defense system through Arrow System Improvement Program. Upper-tier ballistic missile defense layer should be covered by the proposed Arrow-3 ballistic missile defense system.
Arrow 2 Missile Launch Platoon
The missile launch platoon consists of the Hazelnut Tree truck-mounted Launch Control Centre (LCC), developed by IAI MLM, with four or eight missile launch trailers. The entire launch platoon is mobile and able to relocate to a new site on a short notice. Such an ability is vital for Israel because of its almost non-existent strategic depth. After the firing launchers can be reloaded in an hour.
Microwave and radio data and voice communication links between the launch center and the radar command and control centre. The launch system can be located up to 180 miles from the site selected for the radar command and control center.
Arrow-2 Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile
The two-stage missile is equipped with solid propellant booster and sustainer rocket motors. The missile uses an initial burn to carry out a vertical hot launch from the container and a secondary burn to sustain the missile's trajectory towards the target at a maximum speed of Mach 9, or 2.5km/s.
Thrust vector control is used in the boost and sustainer phases of flight. At the ignition of the second stage sustainer motor, the first stage assembly separates. The first stage booster is manufactured by Israel Military Industries. Rafael manufactures the sustainer motor.
The Arrow missile is launched before the threat missile trajectory and intercept point are accurately known. As more trajectory data becomes available, the optimum intercept point is more precisely defined and the missile is guided towards the optimum intercept point.
The kill vehicle section of the missile, containing the warhead, fusing and the terminal seeker, is equipped with four aerodynamically controlled moving fins to provide low altitude interception capability. The warhead is a high explosive directed blast fragmentation warhead developed by Rafael, which is capable of destroying a target within a 50 meters radius.
The dual mode missile seeker uses a passive infrared seeker for the acquisition and tracking of tactical ballistic missiles and an active radar seeker used to home on air breathing targets at low altitudes. The infrared seeker is an indium antimonide focal plane array developed by Raytheon.