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Arrow 3: Israel, US Team Up on Anti-Ballistic Missile Interceptors

© AP Photo / Israel Aircraft Industries Israel Missile Arrow 3
Israel Missile Arrow 3 - Sputnik International
Anti-ballistic missile technology will be the focus of continued military cooperation between the US and Israel, as both militaries prepare to test an Arrow 3 missile from Alaska in late summer or early fall, marking a first in the long-time close relationship between Israel and the US.

The US Missile Defense Agency and Israel will carry out the test on Kodiak, a remote island about 400 miles from the state capital of Anchorage, to ensure maximal safety in the event that the missile ends up producing unwanted shrapnel, Jerusalem Online reported.

Israeli soldiers walk near an Israeli Irone Dome defence system (L), a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the MIM-104 Patriot (C), and an anti-ballistic missile the Arrow 3 (R) during Juniper Cobra's joint exercise press briefing at Hatzor Israeli Air Force Base in central Israel, on February 25, 2016. Juniper Cobra, is held every two years where Israel and the United States train their militaries together to prepare against possible ballistic missile attacks, as well as allowing the armies to learn to better work together. - Sputnik International
Israel Enters 'New Era' With Arrow 3 Anti-Ballistic Missiles

The US could stand to gain quite a bit for its missile defense if the Arrow 3 winds up fulfilling its task. The Pentagon’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) has been nothing short of a colossal failure. The Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog, issued a report on the GMD, stating that it “has demonstrated a limited capability to defend the US Homeland from small numbers of simple intermediate-range or intercontinental ballistic missile threats launched from North Korea or Iran.”

If that wasn’t enough of a takedown of the multi-billion GMD program, the GAO added for good measure, “GMD flight testing, to date, was insufficient to demonstrate that an operationally useful defense capability exists.”

The idea behind the Arrow 3 is to thwart Iranian Shahab-3 intermediate range missiles, Defense News reported in January, when Moshe Patel of the Israel Missile Defense Organization announced that Arrow 3 had become operational. In September 2016, Washington pledged to send $5 billion to Israel over the period spanning fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2028, the news outlet added.

The Missile Defense Agency's test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD). The Ground-Based Interceptor launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on June 22, 2014. - Sputnik International
Pentagon Pushes Missile Defense System With Faulty Interceptors – Report

Each Arrow 3 missile runs about $2.2 million, according to Haaretz, but officials on Kodiak Island expect the test to incur an $80 million bill.

Jerusalem Online noted that Arrow 3 operates in the exosphere, implying that even if a ballistic missile was armed with a nuclear warhead, the explosion would be predominantly muted with little effect to populations and infrastructure on the ground. Arrow 3 may eventually be used to destroy satellites in outer space, the news outlet said.

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