Western and Eastern European Countries Show Keen Interest in Israeli Developed Arrow 3 Ballistic Missiles Interceptor, Immediate Acquisition Plans are Underway with Germany Taking the Lead


Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Some immediate acquisition plans are already underway in Western and Eastern European countries, as first lessons from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Germans are the first to act – they have decided to purchase the Israeli developed Arrow 3 ballistic missiles interceptor and air – ground missiles for the Heron-TP strategic UAV, they had leased from Israel. Some countries in Eastern Europe are also showing great interest in Israeli systems.

Other weapons systems are also in great demand as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Germany is already negotiating the purchase of the Israeli Arrow 3 ballistic missiles interceptor. According to a report in the Jerusalem post, the potential deal was approved by the US and Israel.

The German interest in this system began before the Russian invasion to Ukraine but according to the Jerusalem post, Washington and Israel approved the sale of this combat proven system to Germany recently. According to the Jerusalem Post, the head of the German Air Force Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz told the daily on April 4 that the Arrow 3 is the most relevant system for the threats facing the European nation.

“The Iron Dome is used for short-range threat and we have quite a capable industry back home and we will procure systems for that,” Gerhartz was quoted in the Israeli daily.

According to this report, the German senior officer added that Germany needs a system that can intercept long range ballistic missiles. The purchase of the system, which has been pushed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz,

Gerhartz said that the US and Israel approved the sale.  “But, we still have to talk about the details.”

The Israeli Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the possible sale of the Arrow 3 to Germany. If the deal is signed, it will be the first export of the Israeli defence system. The Arrow 3 is the most advanced operational version of this defence systems.

In January, Israel performed a test of an upgraded version of the Arrow 3. Two upgraded Arrow 3 interceptors were launched simultaneously against two targets. The targets were destroyed by kinetic kill. The sources added that the full systems including the upgraded Green Pine radar worked perfectly and were key parts of the complicated intercepts. The Arrow 3 was upgraded to intercepts the new threats. This is the first time that the upgraded version was tested.

Israeli sources say that the Iranian with the help of North Korea are working on a new “breed” of ballistic missiles that are intended to create the threats depicted in the Arrow 3 test. The tests were conducted jointly by the Israel Missile Defence Organization (IMDO), its US counterpart the Missile Defence Agency (MDA) and the Israeli armed forces.

According to the official announcement, operational radars detected the target and transferred data to the battle management control, which analysed the data and established a defence plan. After the defence plan was established, two Arrow 3 interceptors were launched toward the target and completed the mission. The targets depicting some of these emerging threats in the test were developed by Israeli-firm Rafael, and were launched by Israeli Air Force F-15 over the Mediterranean.

And the interest is also focused on the Israeli long range radars that can detect different aerial threats. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has supplied the Czech Republic, via its Czech partners RETIA and VTU, with the first air defence Multi-Mission Radar (MMR), as part of a deal signed in December 2019 by the Ministries of Defence of both the Czech Republic and Israel.

According to IAI, the radar, which is operational and combat-proven in Israel, provides both surveillance and defense capabilities to customers around the world, and is integrative with NATO systems. The radar detects and classifies threats, and supplies weapons systems with the data necessary to neutralize a number of those threats simultaneously. Thanks to the system’s advanced tracking capabilities, the radar provides situational awareness which is both precise and reliable, and includes the detection and identification of targets having low signatures.

The MMR can deal simultaneously with multiple missions – including air defense against aircraft, UAVs and drones, artillery against varied enemy targets, and the identification and location of rocket launches, enemy artillery, and mortars, while locating both the launch and expected hit position, and controlling intercepting missiles launched against these threats. The MMR is the ‘brain’ of Israel’s Barak MX Air and Missile Defense System, the Iron Dome, and David’s Sling, and to date over 150 such systems have been sold to customers around the world.

Israeli defense sources told said that following the massive use of missiles by the Russians in Ukraine there is a great interest in the Israeli combat proven radars.

“The Czech Republic signed the contract in 2019 but now we expect more contracts as the different countries analyse the Russian operation in Ukraine,”  one of the sources said.

In 2017 Germany through Airbus Defense leased 7 Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron –TP UAV’s. The original role of the strategic UAV is to assist German forces overseas. Immediately after the contract was signed, the German air force expressed its operational need to arm the UAV with Missiles. Political opposition kept that plan in low profile. Now, as a lesson from the Ukraine invasion, the Germans have decided to go forward with their original plan.

Israeli sources said that there are a few options as to what type of missile will be put on the Heron-TP. The deal will include 160 missiles. According to the foreign media, the Israeli air force are very experienced in the use of missiles launched from UAV’s.