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Israel Plans New Arrow Mark 4

The Arrow upgrade program is part of Israel's preparations to counter Iran's efforts to develop and produce nuclear weapons.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Jun 07, 2006
Israel Aircraft Industries subsidiary Elta Group, the Israel Air Force, and the Israeli Ministry of Defense are designing components for the Arrow Mark IV, which will have qualitatively better performance than current versions.

The Arrow upgrade is one response to the threat posted by conventional or nuclear armed Iranian ballistic missiles, Defense News reported this week.

According to the report, which cited Israeli defense sources, the Arrow Mark IV will have a new radar unit, improved interceptor missiles, and other components that will convert the system from a theater anti-ballistic missile defense system into an integrated nationwide anti-ballistic missile defense system.

An official Israel Ministry of Defense source said the new radar would turn the Arrow Mark IV into a completely holographic system, which will enable control of interceptor missiles from any location, Israel Business Arena reported.

Elta is developing the Arrow Mark IV radar, the Green Pine I, which will have a much deeper monitoring range than the 700-kilometer range of the existing radar. The new radar is scheduled to enter operational service in 2009, Defense News said.

Arrow program heads said they plan to gradually improve the system, step by step, including a Mark 3.5 version with improved radar and interceptor missiles, which will enter service in early 2007, the report said.

The upgrade program is part of an Arrow system upgrade program, which will terminate at the end of the 2008 fiscal year. The United States is financing two-thirds of the program, and Israel is financing the rest.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has asked the U.S. Congress for $77 million for the upgrade program for 2007. Israel's Ministry of Defense wants an additional $58 million from Congress to finance accelerated joint production of the Arrow's interceptor missiles, and to conduct research on other improvements needed to counter the Iranian nuclear threat.

The Arrow upgrade program is part of Israel's preparations to counter Iran's efforts to develop and produce nuclear weapons. In the coming months, Israel plans to launch its latest spy satellite, which will be able to spot changes on the ground in Iran, even in poor weather conditions and under cloud cover, Israel Business Arena said.

Source: United Press International

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