Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Two test announcements

Israel uses Arrow SAM for the upper layers of its multi-layered missile defense system. The original single stage Arrow missile was deployed in 1998. The first battery of the upgraded version, the Arrow-2, which is a two-stage missile, became operational in 2000. The Arrow-2 has a lower weight and an increased range (90 km) in comparison to its predecessor. For a detailed description of the Arrow-2 take a look at the Army Technology website.

Israel is also developing a third version of the missile to provide top-tier air defense. Arrow-3 will be an exo-atmospheric missile, capable of higher altitudes and greater ranges than Arrow-1 and Arrow-2, and be effective against intermediate range ballistic missiles.

According to flightglobal.com, Israel Aerospace Industries has now announced its plans to test the Arrow-3 for the first time in late 2008. Arieh Herzog, director of the MoD’s Israel Missile Defense Organization, estimated that it would take at least five years and “several hundred million dollars” for the first Arrow-3s to become operational.

The Arrow-3 test will be followed in 2009 by the first launch of the Barak-8 surface-to-air missile, which is being developed jointly by Israel and India and will have a range of 60km. The two countries started in 2006 the development of the supersonic, vertically launched Barak-8, or BarakNG (New Generation).

Defense-Update reports:

Barak 8 missile utilizes a fully active seeker, the missile is not dependent on the launcher for targeting and guidance, and can perform at much longer ranges, offering effective protection from aerial threats, manned, unmanned as well as guided weapons. Covering both low and high altitudes, the missile is designed for operation on-board ships as well as for terrestrial applications. Barak 8 system is designed to engage multiple targets simultaneously with deadly effectiveness. The missile uses vertical launched missile is designed to offer 360 degrees protection, utilizing an advanced active radar seeker. The missile is equipped with a two-way datalink, supporting mid-course updating and terminal updating and validation.
Yossi Weiss, general manager of IAI's Systems, Missiles and Space Group, said in mid-May 2007 the Barak-8 air defense system under development would be "more capable and more sophisticated" than the U.S.-developed Patriot PAC-3. Sources declined to provide projected program costs, but estimated the effort would take about four years and a minimum of US$300 million to develop unique system elements and an initial tranche of the land-based missiles.

Sources from both India and Israel say they expect the two countries to sign an add-on development contract by early this year for an advanced land-based version of the Barak-8 which will feature a range of 150 kilometers.

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