The Arrow 3 Missile Defense System, a collaborative effort between the Israel Missile Defense Organisation (IMDO) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA), showcased its capabilities by intercepting a target in the Red Sea region. 

On Thursday, November 9 2023, Israeli Air Defense Array soldiers executed the first-ever operational interception using the Arrow 3 Missile Defense System. This system, designed to intercept exo-atmospheric ballistic missiles with long-range capabilities, neutralised a target launched towards Israel in the Red Sea region.

This development is amid ongoing conflict with Hamas, whom the Israeli Army has intensified its operations against in northern Gaza in response to an attack on October 7. As civilians in the north of Gaza face worsening conditions, both Israel and Hamas blame each other for the inability to ensure their safety. Hamas maintains the capability to launch widespread rocket attacks into Israel. 

The Arrow 3 system, operational since 2017, has demonstrated its capabilities in a real-world scenario. This follows closely on the heels of the Arrow 2 system’s recent active interception.

Israel and the US have co-developed an entire family of Arrow missile defence systems, encompassing the Arrow 1, Arrow 2 (Block-2, Block-3, Block-4, and Block-5), Arrow 3, and the Arrow 4 defence system, in addition to the David’s Sling missile defence system, according to GlobalData’s “Israel Defense Market 2023-2028” report. 

Israel’s defence sector has experienced growth in its budget, reaching $23.6bn (NIS91.3bn) in 2023 with a CAGR of 5.2% since 2019. The missile and missile defence systems market is projected to be worth $7.5bn between 2023 and 2028, focusing on collaborations like the Arrow defence systems.

In August this year, the US State Department approved Israel’s sale of the Arrow 3 ballistic missile defence system to Germany, marking the largest defence deal for Jerusalem valued at $3.5bn. The Arrow 3 system offers protection against longer-range aerial threats, employing a hit-to-kill approach.