Israeli Homeland - Threats and Defenses


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A brief report on the threats Israel faces and its defense systems in place.

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Israeli Homeland - Threats and Defenses

  1. 1. 1 The Israel Project Jerusalem Office Tel: 972 2 623-6427 Fax: 972 2 623-6439 Twitter: @israelproject Facebook: Youtube: Israeli Homeland - Threats and Defenses
  2. 2. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS About TIP 2 Iran 4 Map: Ranges of Rockets Facing Israel 10 Hezbollah 11 Hamas 14 Israel’s Defenses 16 Iron Dome 17 David’s Sling (“Magic Wand”) 18 The Arrow 19 Front Cover: Courtesy of United States Department of Defense Updated December 2011
  3. 3. 3 ABOUT TIP The Israel Project (TIP) is a non-profit educational organization that gets facts about Israel and the Middle East to press, public officials and the public. The Israel Project is not affiliated with any government or government entity. Our team of trusted Middle East multi-lingual experts and former reporters provides journalists and leaders with fact sheets, backgrounders and sources. TIP regularly hosts press briefings featuring leading Israeli spokespeople and analysts that give journalists and members of the diplomatic community an opportunity to get information and answers to their questions face-to-face. By providing journalists with the facts, context and visuals they need, TIP enables hundreds of millions of people around the world to see a more positive public face of Israel. This helps protect Israel, reduce anti-Semitism and increase pride in Israel. The Jerusalem Office The Israel Project's (TIP) Jerusalem Office is a non-governmental resource working with foreign journalists and leaders based in Israel. It provides reporters and members of the diplomatic community with needed facts and information before they file their stories and reports. TIP's Jerusalem team features several Middle East experts and former journalists. TIP's Israel team, led by Marcus Sheff, includes experts who are fluent in English, Hebrew, Arabic, French, German, Farsi and Russian. Contacts Marcus Sheff Executive Director Tel: 972 2-623-6427 Cell: 972 54-807-9177 E-mail: David Harris Director of Research and Content Tel: 972 2-623-6427 Cell: 972 54-807-9498 E-mail: Eli Ovits Director of Communications Tel: 972 2 623-6427 Cell: 972 54-807-9093 E-mail: Shimrit Meir-Gilboa Director of Arabic Media Program Tel: 972 2-623-6427 Cell: 972 54-801-5982 E-mail: Sharon Segel Communications Associate Cell: 972 54-807-9078 E-mail: Ronit Shebson Senior Communications Associate Cell: 972 54-807-9065 E-mail: Shai Oseran Media Tours Coordinator Cell: 972 54-803-3471 E-mail: Michal Shmulovich Research and Content Associate Cell: 972 54-807-9522 E-mail: Stephane Cohen Communications Associate - Leaders Cell: 972 54-807-0423 E-mail: Arik Agassi Communications Specialist - Tours, Events Cell: 972 54-551-7376 E-mail: Dor Kaidar Communications Associate – Media Cell: 972 54-7004812 E-mail: Paul Shindman Research and Content Associate Cell: 972 52-807-9187 E-mail:
  4. 4. 4 Iranian threat • Iran is widely recognized as the world's leading state sponsor of international terrorism. The Islamic republic directly and indirectly funds, trains and arms groups that share the regime's stated goal of targeting Western countries and destroying Israel, as well as overthrowing regimes in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. • Iran provides support to insurgent groups in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, whose goal is to inflict casualties on American, British, Australian and other international forces. • Iran is expanding its terror network beyond the Middle East, using Hezbollah and splinter groups of Iran's Revolutionary Guard to recruit and train sleeper cells in foreign countries. • FBI officials know that Iran-backed Hezbollah has a sizeable presence in the United States and suspect that the group may be planning to activate sleeper cells in the New York City area. • In a veiled threat to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to Arab countries that signed peace treaties with Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.” IRAN UN Report: Iran Circumventing Sanctions On May 11, 2011 The Israel Project published the following news release: Iran is circumventing U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear program by using “front companies, financial transactions and concealed shipping methods,” a U.N. report stated this week. "Iran maintains its uranium enrichment and heavy water related activities ... and in the area of ballistic missiles, continues to test missiles and engage in prohibited procurement," the report said. The council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June 2010 for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and negotiate its nuclear program. The report also said most violations of the conventional arms ban involve Syria. Iran is known to arm terror proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah through Syria, which transports weapons and supplies from Syrian storage sites to the Syrian-Lebanese border or by ship. For example, a weapons shipment from Iran that originated in Syria was intercepted by Israel in March. The ship, which was headed for Hamas-controlled Gaza, was carrying Kalashnikov bullets, mortar shells, anti-ship missiles, radar systems and launchers. And in January, Iranian war ships passed through the Suez Canal on their way to naval exercises with Syria. It was the first time Iran’s ships passed through Egypt’s international shipping waterway since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
  5. 5. 5 Meanwhile, Russia successfully completed a “vital pre-launch test” at its Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr on Sunday. The test represented one of the “final stages before a formal start” of the reactors at the nuclear power plant, media reports stated. Iran Stages Massive Fighter- Bomber Military Drills On Sept. 7, 2011 The Israel Project published the following news release: Iran staged massive air drills in the northwestern section of the country Tuesday (Sept. 6). As part of a 10-day war-game exercise, fighter jets, fighter bombers and planes were used to simulate war situations and bomb targets. “Iranian fighter jets, including Saeqeh (thunderbolt), will carry out hundreds of sorties during the war games and will drop high-tonnage smart and precision-guided bombs on mock targets,” Iran’s semi-official FARS News Agency reported today. Iran also announced the successful testing of a “home-made radar- evading UAV with bombing capabilities.” The advanced aircraft and war-game scenarios exemplify Iran’s foray into the manufacturing of fighter jets and its progress in the production of stealth aircraft and drones. Iran’s build-up of fighter weapons points to a larger question about its military ambitions – particularly its secretive nuclear program. The military exercises come only a few days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that many member states now have credible, “extensive and comprehensive” information that Iran “continues to work secretly on developing a nuclear payload for a missile and other components of a nuclear weapons program,” the Associated Press reported. The IAEA report states: “Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities in the following declared facilities.”
  6. 6. 6 The intelligence suggests enough uranium for six warheads. An Iranian news agency also recently pointed out that Iran said it “will not undertake more commitments in negotiations with the IAEA.” Already in May, The New York Times reported the IAEA’s frustration with Iran because of its refusal to answer questions about the purpose of its nuclear program. The NYT said the IAEA stated, for the first time, that it “possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon.” World leaders have pushed for international sanctions against Iran because of its non-compliance with IAEA inspectors and their questions about the nature of its nuclear program. The Middle East Quartet’s Special Envoy Tony Blair said earlier this year: “I say this to you with all of the passion I possibly can -- at some point the West has to get out of what I think is a wretched policy or posture of apology for believing that we are causing what the Iranians are doing, or what these extremists are doing.” “They [Iran] disagree fundamentally with our way of life and will carry on unless met with determination and, if necessary, force,” added Blair. Iran’s leaders continue to say they seek Israel’s destruction and that they support Hezbollah and Hamas, two U.S.-designated terror organizations that vow to destroy Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently said Jews and Israelis - “Zionists” - would face “definite death.” He was speaking by telephone to Hamas’ political leader Khaled Mashaal. Iranian arms shipment intended for Hezbollah intercepted by Israel’s navy (Israel Defense Forces)
  7. 7. 7 GBU-67/9A Qadr ("Destiny" in Arabic) Missile-production companies working for the Iranian Ministry of Defense are manufacturing the GBU-67/9A Qadr, the first generation of precision-guided munitions (PGMs). Iranian Minister of Defense Brig. Gen.Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar announced in November 2007 that Tehran is developing the Qadr and another missile, the "Ashoura," both with the capacity to travel beyond 1,242 miles (2,000 kilometers).
  8. 8. 8 Shahab The Shahab ("Comet" in Farsi) is an Iranian missile based on the design of the Soviet R11, a 1950s Scud missile. Iran originally acquired a small quantity of Scud missiles from Libya to retaliate against Iraqi attacks during the Iran-Iraq war. Following the war, Iran acquired the 661-lb. (300-kg) Scud B and 1,278-lb. (580-kg) Scud C missiles from North Korea. The missiles were dubbed the Shahab-1 and Shahab-2, respectively. Many Shahab-1 missiles were fired into the encampments of the Mujahedeen el-Khalq (MEK) opposition group in Iraq. The acquisition of the Shahab-3 missile made Iran a threat to the Western world. The Shahab-1 and 2 had a limited range and primarily threatened Iraq. The Shahab-3, tested in 1998, had a range of 806 miles (1,300 km), placing Tel Aviv under threat. The Shahab-3 and the Pakistani "Ghauri" are similar to the North Korean Scud missile, the No Dong. In 2004, Iran revealed the more powerful and precise Shahab-3. The latest version of the missile, with a range of up to 930 miles (1,500 km), is longer with a modified external design. Between 1998 and 2006, 10 test flights of the Shahab-3 were carried out, half of which failed. Israel and the U.S. have prepared for a Shahab-3 attack by having the crew of the American Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea practice intercepting missiles aimed at them. On July 9, 2008, Iran test-fired a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 1,242 mi. (2,000 km). In 2005, Iran announced that it had succeeded in testing solid propellant motors for a "twin engine" missile for the latest model of Shahab. [26] According to the journal Strategic Assessment, Iran has developed the longer-range Shahab-4, Shahab-5 (Kosar), and Shahab-6. Military experts consider the Shahab-4 the Iranian counterpart to the North Korean Taepodong-1. These missiles cause heavier damage than the Shahab-3, carrying a greater payload and with and increased range of up to 2,480 miles (4,000 kilometers). The missile would have the capability of thrusting an Iranian satellite up to 22 miles (35 kilometers) into space from the launching pad near the city of Qom. BM-25 The BM-25 Ballistic Missile is Iran's newest long-range acquisition. Obtained from North Korea, it has a range of 1,550-2,170 miles (2,500-3,500 km) using the new technology of storable liquid propulsion. According to the German newspaper Bild, Iran purchased 18 BM-25 missiles and launchers from North Korea. The BM-25 is based on the Soviet SS-N-6 (R-27) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Iranian officials and the Russian minister of defense denied the report. The missile was called a “feat of engineering” by an Israeli security official, who told TIP that it has three motors and can be launched from the ground.
  9. 9. 9 Iran 's Missile Stock: Short-Range Missiles Name Missile Stages Propulsion Range in miles (km) Inventory Shahab-1 1 Liquid 177 - 205 (285-330) 250 - 300 Shahab-2 1 Liquid 310 - 435 (500-700) 200 – 450 Samid 1 Liquid -- -- Shahab-3 Zelzal-3 1 Liquid, solid 620-930 (1,000 -1,500) -- Shahab-3D Zelzal-3D 2 Liquid, solid 930 (1,500 +) -- IRIS Zelzal-3D 2 Liquid, solid 930 (1,500 +) -- Shahab-4 3 Liquid, solid 1,120-1,240 (1,800-2,000) -- IRSL-X-2 3 Liquid, solid 1,370-1,800 (2.200-2.900) -- Shahab-5 IRSL-X- 3/Kosar IRIS 2,3 Liquid, solid Two stage: 2,170-2,330 (3,500- 3,750) Three stage: 2,485-2,670 (4,000- 4,300) -- Shahab-6 IRSL-X- 4/Kosar 3 Liquid, solid 3,400-3,420 (5,470 -5,500) 3,500-3,850 (5,632 -6,200) 3,850-4,160 (6,200-6,700) 4,970+ (8,000+) --
  10. 10. 10 Ranges of Rockets Facing Israel
  11. 11. 11 HEZBOLLAH Hezbollah Fighters and Weapons’ Capabilities in South Lebanon Hezbollah (“Party of God” in Arabic) is a Lebanese Shiite Muslim terrorist organization and political party. Born in Lebanon in 1982 but nurtured in Iran, Hezbollah has gone from a radical offshoot of the Shiite Amal Party and militia to a major force in regional politics. It is now recognized as a highly skilled, worldwide terrorist network. Hezbollah’s backyard is south Lebanon, locally known as the Jebel Amal. South Lebanon’s Litani River area remains the area that is Hezbollah’s main base of operations. Using a combination of underground fortifications and hiding in the towns and villages of South Lebanon, Hezbollah has managed to keep a considerable force within 25 miles (40 km) of the Israeli border. The general layout of Hezbollah is as follows: There are two forward elements, mainly located in rural fortified positions and in the local populated areas. The units are meant to delay and stall any Israeli advance, causing as many casualties as possible but not meant to hold out indefinitely. The Northern Unit is effectively a reserve force, ready for deployment. In addition, Hezbollah can count on further reinforcements from the Beirut area and the Bekaa Valley on the Syrian border. Lebanon’s Litani River (in red) Lebanon’s Litani River (in red)
  12. 12. 12 July 12, 2010 marked the fourth anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s defensive war against Hezbollah. With Iran’s aid, Hezbollah has been actively building up its arsenal and guerilla warfare capabilities since its war with Israel in 2006. Both are direct violations of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for Hezbollah to disarm. Hezbollah took an immense amount of damage to its manpower and logistical infrastructure in 2006. Yet, soon after the war, Iran and Syria sponsored a massive reconstruction of its capabilities. First and foremost was a revamped training program of its personnel. A report from April 2007 cites 500 Hezbollah terrorists being sent to Iran for training by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The same report shows that terrorists are cycled through Iran on periodic training exercises and Syria also takes a major role in training fighters, especially in the use of rockets. Estimates vary on how many armed fighters Hezbollah can actually call on at any one time; a report from the 2006 war stated that Hezbollah had around 1,000 full time fighters and 6,000-10,000 reservists. Other reports cite as many as 20,000 fighters of all types. These include the hundreds of specially trained technicians and engineers needed to service Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal. Hezbollah has a large weapons cache, outmatching those of actual armies, including that of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The Jamestown Foundation states its average terrorists “are armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, typically assembling in small teams to avoid concentrations that would draw Israeli attention.” That report also states “the use of mortars (81mm and 120mm) has been honed to near perfection… Hezbollah fighters have developed efficient assault tactics for use against armor, with their main anti-tank weapons being AT-3 Saggers and AT-4 Spigot missiles.” TOW missiles, an acronym for “tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire data link auto-guided missile,” are said to be present in Hezbollah’s warehouses. The TOW has been linked to the Iran-Contra Scandal, in which weapons were allegedly provided to Iran by then U.S. president Ronald Reagan in order to secure the release of American hostages taken by Hezbollah and Iran-loyalists in Lebanon. The vast majority of the weapons come from Syria and Iran, with Iran equipping Hezbollah with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance purposes. Syria and Iran allegedly gave the group Russian and Iranian produced MANPAD’s (man portable air defense weapons) such as the SA-7. The low estimate for Hezbollah’s rocket capabilities is that it possesses at least 40,000 rockets of various range abilities. Moreover, Israeli intelligence officials believe Hezbollah has 40,000 rockets south of the Litani River alone. The actual types are of mostly Iranian origin, including the Fajr 3 and 5, with ranges around 46 miles (75 km), the Zelzal-1 with a 93 mile (150 km) range. This means Hezbollah has the ability to threaten Tel Aviv and central Israel from south Lebanon. The most basic rocket is the Katyusha-122, which has a range of less than 18 miles (29 km). Hezbollah is also said to have added the M-600 Scud D to its inventory from Syria, which has a range of 186 miles (300 km) and, being fitted with a GPS inertial navigation system, is accurate to within 656 feet (200 meters) of a pre-selected target. Hezbollah is reported to have at least 200 of these variants.
  13. 13. 13 • Israeli intelligence reports that Hezbollah possesses 26,000 more rockets than it did on the eve of the Second Lebanon War. • Hezbollah has Iranian Zelzal-2 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a 1,300lb (600kg) warhead with a maximum range of 124 miles (200km), placing all major Israeli cities in range of Hezbollah fire. • Hezbollah has three organizational structures and sophisticated weaponry, including the M-6002 missile, supplied by Iran through Syria to Hezbollah with the help of the organization’s 10,000 operatives. • Syria mass-produced and delivered new, longer-range Scud-D missiles to Lebanon that travel as far as 435 miles (700km) and can carry chemical or biological warheads. • WikiLeaks cables revealed that the United States had urged Syria to stop transferring ballistic missiles (Scud-D, Fateh-110 missiles) to Hezbollah earlier in 2010. They have the potential of reaching Tel Aviv and central Israel. • Hezbollah also possesses a large arsenal of guided anti-tank missiles, including advanced Russian-built models. The militia also has a large cache of shore-to-sea missiles. • Hezbollah has approximately 20,000 fighters with as many as 200 fighters stationed in every Shiite village in south Lebanon. • In July 2010, Israeli military released aerial photos of Al-Khiam village in southern Lebanon, 4 miles (6 km) from Israel’s border. Hezbollah has a military presence in more than 100 civilian villages. • Iran provided Hezbollah with $200 million in 2008 to fund its terrorist activities, and has trained 3,000 Hezbollah militants in Iranian camps. • Regarding disarmament, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said: “Whoever wants to forcefully disarm the Resistance—and I have said this more than once— we will chop off his hand, behead him, and get rid of his soul. We are that determined.” • On May 29, 2009, Nasrallah declared on Al-Manar television that Iran is unconditionally arming and supporting Hezbollah.
  14. 14. 14 HAMAS Background on Hamas Like the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, Gaza-based Hamas is funded, armed and trained by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hamas is a radical Islamic terror group operating out of the Gaza Strip. Hamas, which means “enthusiasm” or “bravery” in Arabic, is the acronym for its full title, the Islamic Resistance Movement. Its military wing is the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades. Hamas also has a paramilitary police force, known as the Executive Force. The group has some 20,000 fighters in its ranks. Hamas’ political leader Khaled Mashaal runs Hamas from Damascus, Syria, while Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’ military leader, lives in Gaza. Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh also sits in Gaza. Following the recent revolts sweeping across Syria, Hamas’ leadership is now worried it may have to relocate to Egypt or Qatar. Founded in 1987, Hamas was created by former Muslim Brotherhood members, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Abdullah Azzam, an Arab Islamist from the West Bank city of Jenin, was another pivotal figure in the founding of Hamas. He studied with Muslim Brotherhood members at Cairo’s al-Azhar University and became al-Qaeda arch terrorist Osama bin Laden’s mentor in Pakistan. In fact, writes Steve Coll in Ghost Wars, bin Laden and his followers later merged Azzam’s Islamic social organization, Office of Services, into al-Qaeda. Already in 2008, Abbas confirmed that Hamas helped al-Qaeda gain a presence in Gaza. Hamas carries out civilian attacks and suicide bombings and advocate firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Human rights group Amnesty International called on Hamas to "publicly renounce its policy of unlawful attacks against civilian population centers in Israel." The group’s hardline ethos advocates fighting Jews in order to create a state of Palestinian in the place of what is currently Israel. Hamas’ charter states: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.” Terrorists in Gaza who are under Hamas’ control have fired over 600 rockets at Israeli civilians so far in 2011. Today, more than one million Israelis live within the range of rocket-fire from Gaza. Hamas’ arsenal is growing. Hamas and Gaza since Operation Cast Lead Hamas’ military and security infrastructure was severely damaged during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008. That operation was launched in response to the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas. However, since the end of Cast Lead, Hamas has made strenuous efforts to re-arm, restore its control over the territory, rebuild its military infrastructure and prevent the Palestinian Authority from re-asserting control - with Iran’s assistance. Hamas’ efforts include: • Dozens of tons of standard explosives and other rocket building material smuggled in, as have scores of Grad rockets with ranges of 25 miles (40km), hundreds of mortar shells and dozens of anti-tank weapons • Hundreds of smuggling tunnels used to deliver arms, merchandise, equipment and fuel have been re-dug since the end of Cast Lead. As many as 1,500 tunnels existed under the Gaza-Egypt border at the end of 2009 • Smugglers transport weapons from Iran to Yemen, on to Sudan and then to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula where they are brought into the Gaza Strip through the tunnels • Hamas has received more advanced rockets than it previously possessed. On Nov. 3, 2009, Hamas test fired a rocket 37 miles (60 km) into the Mediterranean Sea. Such rockets put Greater Tel Aviv within range of Hamas’ missile fire
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. 16 ISRAEL’S DEFENSES Israel Deploys “Iron Dome” Following the increase in rocket and mortar attacks in the south of Israel, the decision was made by the Israel Defense Forces to deploy the new missile-defense system known as the “Iron Dome”. Although it is still in the experimental stage, it has already had success in the field. On April 7, 2011, the Iron Dome intercepted a Katyusha rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, aimed at Ashkelon. Nine Grad and Qassam rockets were later successfully intercepted over the weekend of April 7-9, 2011, which saw some 120 mortars and rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Iron Dome also successfully intercepted dozens of rockets in August 2011.
  17. 17. 17 Iron Dome Iron Dome is a mobile defense system that shoots down incoming rockets with ranges of up to 43.5 miles (70 km) before they land; it is produced by Israeli manufacturers and the Israeli government has ordered more of them to protect civilians. The installations shot down the first rockets from Gaza earlier this year. The ground-breaking defense system counters short range rockets and 155 mm artillery shell threats, with ranges of up to 43 mi. (70km). A radar detects and identifies the rocket or artillery shell launch and monitors its trajectory. The threat’s trajectory is quickly analyzed and the expected impact point is estimated; if it poses a critical threat, an interceptor is quickly launched. The target warhead is detonated over a neutral area, therefore reducing collateral damage to the protected area. The Iron Dome system has been deployed outside of Beersheba - a city of some 200,000 people, south of Ashkelon and in Ashdod. Gaza is as close as 23 mi. (37 km) away from Ashdod, for example. Israel is currently awaiting further funding to develop and deploy extra units to aid its civilians in the south. The Israeli Defense Ministry and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which manufactures the system, hope to deliver two more batteries by the end of 2012, bringing the total number of operational Iron Dome systems to six.
  18. 18. 18 David’s Sling (“Magic Wand”) David's Sling, also known as Magic Wand, is another interceptor for more powerful rockets with a range of hundreds of miles. It should be completed by 2013. It is a protective barrier against mid-range missiles. Sometimes referred to as Magic Wand or the “Stunner”, David’s Sling is an Israel Defense Forces military system being jointly developed by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense contractor Raytheon, designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, such as those possessed by Hezbollah, fired at ranges from 25 mi. to 185 mi. (40 km to 300 km). The interceptor is a two-stage missile, with two targeting and guidance systems installed in its nose-tip (a radar and an electro-optical sensor). In 2006, Rafael was awarded a contract to develop a defense system to counter the threat of medium- to long-range rockets with ranges between 43 mi. and 155 mi. (70 km and 250 km). In order to enable Israel to make use of the financial aid provided by the United States to further develop the system and to produce it, a partnership was established with Raytheon which develops missile firing units and overall logistic systems and assists Rafael with developing interceptors. David’s Sling David’s Sling (Rafael website)
  19. 19. 19 The Arrow (Wikimedia Commons) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro said in July 2010: "Hezbollah has amassed tens of thousands of short- and medium-range rockets on Israel’s northern border. Hamas has a substantial number in Gaza. And even if some of these are still crude, they all pose a serious danger… Given the threat Israel faces from short- and medium-range missiles, Israel air and missile defense systems are an area of particular focus [between the U.S. and Israel], including the Arrow Weapon System to counter long-range ballistic missile threats, and David’s Sling to defend against short-range ballistic missiles. For our part, we are working with Israel to upgrade its Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. The Arrow The Arrow is a cornerstone of U.S.-Israeli technical and military cooperation. It is an advanced weapons system designed to counter longer-range ballistic missiles threats and weapons of mass destruction capability at a distance of 62 mi (100 km). Israel's Arrow Interceptor is used to protect the country from Iranian or Syrian ballistic missiles at high altitudes. The Arrow 3 is expected to be able to intercept ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction at more than 62 mi (100 km) above the earth’s surface – beyond the boundary between earth's atmosphere and outer space. Israel and the U.S. signed an agreement in July 2010 paving the way to making the Arrow II capable of shooting down missiles at higher altitudes. Upgrading to the Arrow III will mean interceptions outside the earth’s atmosphere so there is no toxic debris. Trials are expected to begin on Arrow III in 2012.