Israel Defense Force (IDF)

US-Israeli missile defense cooperation sends clear message to foes

Israeli and U.S. missile defense agencies just completed, together with their leading defense industries, a successful test of the new Arrow 3 interceptor. While the Israeli Air Force declared the system operational almost a year ago, these tests now serve as a clear indication to enemies — notably Iran — that Israel’s multi-layer missile defense system has the country covered.

Israel began to develop its multilayered missile defense in the 1990s, following the first Gulf War, when Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein fired Scuds at the Jewish state. Washington positioned Patriot missiles in the country to intercept them, but several Scuds landed, causing damage and casualties. This prompted Israel, with generous U.S. support, to begin construction of the missile defense architecture Israel boasts today.

Over decades of development, the Israeli multilayer system currently consists of four operational layers: Iron Dome (short-range), David’s Sling (medium-range), Arrow 2 (longer range), and now Arrow 3 (very long range). Other lower layers, including the use of lasers, are being discussed among Israeli officials or are already under development.

Iron Dome is often touted as a brilliant technological achievement for its ability to accurately and affordably target short-range rockets fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups out of the Gaza Strip, thereby granting Israeli policymakers the time and space to respond judiciously.

Read More: The Hill