The Arrow anti-ballistic missile program is needed and should be
exported to U.S. allies, according to Gen. Ephraim Sneh, the Israeli
minister of transportation.
“The new [Prime Minister Ariel Sharon] administration is
supportive of working with the U.S. on anti-ballistic missile systems.
The U.S. and Israel should work on Arrow together and export it
together,” he said.
Arrow is a U.S.-Israeli cooperative effort, which began in 1988,
to deploy a tactical missile-defense system. The U.S. Ballistic
Missile Defense Organization, which manages the program, said the
goal is to “make Arrow and analogous U.S. theater-missile
defense systems interoperable.”
The Arrow system includes a hypersonic ballistic-missile interceptor
and launcher, a launcher control system, a long-range electronic
search and fire-control radar and a mobile fire-control center.
A successful intercept of a Scud-type missile target was achieved
last September, over the Mediterranean Sea.
A combined U.S.-Israel military air-defense exercise—using
the Arrow system—took place in Israel in early 2001, officials
said. The goal was to improve the interoperability between the two
Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. is the prime contractor for Arrow.
Marvin Klemow, the company’s vice president for government
and public affairs, said that Israel feels that it is in great danger
of a ballistic missile attack and Israel “wants more Arrow
missiles now.” Klemow explained that Israel is seeking to
export the Arrow system, and that Israel needs U.S.-support of the
Employing the “cheaper-by-the-dozen” standard, “The
more missiles you build, the cheaper they are,” Klemow said.
Ivan Eland, defense analyst for the Cato Institute, a libertarian
think tank in Washington, D.C., suggested that Israel looks out
for itself, because it is “the first line of defense in the
Middle East.” However, things in the Middle East have “never
looked better,” despite ongoing struggles with the Palestinians.
The reason, said Eland, is that “Egypt is no longer the enemy,
and Israel has made peace with Jordan.”