Defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) announced Wednesday that the production of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile canisters has been moved to the US.
The canisters, which contain electronic components capable of transmitting commands to the Arrow 3 missiles, will now be manufactured by IAI subsidiary’s Stark Aerospace Inc., based in Columbus, Mississippi.
Stark was recently chosen to manufacture canisters for the Arrow-3, an integral component to the latest generation of missile defense systems developed by IAI and deployed by the Ministry of Defense to the Israel Air Force.
The announcement was made during a ceremony marking the first delivery of the “Made in Mississippi” Arrow 3 Anti-Ballistic Missile canister to IAI which was attended by Governor Phil Bryant and several members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation along with senior officials of the IMOD.
“We are pleased to mark this event with our partners at Stark that symbolizes the full cooperation between Israel and the US. Stark’s missile defense capabilities enable IAI to manufacture parts of the Arrow Weapons System (AWS) in Mississippi and serve as a basis for future expansion on missile defense initiatives and other activities,” said Boaz Levy, general manager and executive VP of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Group.
In face of the growing missile threat to Israel, the Arrow 3 forms the uppermost layer of Israel’s multi-layered defense system along with the Arrow 2, David’s Sling and Iron Dome system. Together the systems provide Israel will a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terrorist groups in Gaza and Hezbollah, as well as the threat posed by long-range Iranian missiles.
Considered one of the world’s best interceptors due to its breakthrough technological capabilities, the Arrow 3 is a highly maneuverable system designed to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
The IAF officially received Arrow-3 interceptors from the Israel Missile Defense Organization in January and according to IMDO Director Moshe Patel, further trials of the system are expected as Israel will continue to work with the United States in developing additional capabilities for the system.
“The Israeli Ministry of Defense is proud to mark here in Mississippi another achievement representing fruitful long term cooperation between the US and Israel for building a strong protective shield to the State of Israel against missiles and rockets,” Patel said.
“The strong partnership and commitment between the Missile Defense Agency and the IMDO created a world-class interceptor that, together with the Arrow 2, expands the ballistic missile defense envelope provided to the State of Israel. Stark company joins many other US vendors and manufacturers that do an exceptional work and produce high-end components to our Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome systems”.
The Arrow-3 development program is one of the joint programs between Israel and the United States, was co-managed by the US Missile Defense Agency and IMDO, a division of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.