Israel rolls out Arrow-2 TMD missile system http://defence-data.com/storypic/arrow1.jpg [not image]
15 March 2000
Israel has rolled out the first battery of its Arrow-2 anti ballistic missile system. In a ceremony yesterday at Palmachim Air Force Base in central Israel the Israeli Air Force (IAF) showed off the six missiles, the radars and the control systems that go to make up a battery of this system.
Arrow is a theatre missile defence system that has been developed by Israel and the United States at a final cost of some $2.2 billion. Although first mooted in 1988, the urgency of the requirement was demonstrated during the Gulf War when Iraq fired Scud missiles at Israel
Arrow has been developed to cope with Scud and Scud derivatives, but Israeli officials made it clear that the system was not yet able to tackle the latest missiles being developed in the region, such as the Iranian Shihab 3. Further development would be needed to counter that threat.
Its early warning and fire-control system is designed to pick up and track incoming missiles from a distance of 500 kilometres, while its control and command system is capable of dealing with up to 14 intercepts at a time.
Speaking at the ceremony, the IAF commander Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliahu said the battery was not yet operational. Considerable work still had to be done to develop operating procedures, and train operators before a formal declaration of Initial Operational Capability. Ben-Eliahu did say that in the event of a surprise attack, "...we could improvise operations within a few days."
The final Arrow system will have three batteries, located in the north, centre and south of the country. The second battery is in production and funding has been approved for the third.
Missiles are being manufactured by MLM, a subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries, the Citron battle management system by Tadiran and the Green Pine early warning and fire-control system by Elta.