Raytheon Company and Rafael Armament Development Authority have been
selected by the Israel Ministry of Defense' Defense Research and
development Directorate (DDRD) to develop a new terminal missile defense interceptor to
defeat a variety of low-cost, short-range ballistic missile threats.
According to an IMOD announcement, The next step in the program will
be a feasibility study. No decision about full scale development has
The Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense program is an IMDO
initiative to address the proliferating threat of short-range
ballistic threats. Such missiles and rockets are cheap, plentiful,
easily concealed and largely exempt from international arms control
accords. These relatively insignificant battlefield weapons can be
transformed into deadly, strategic threats when fitted with
unconventional warheads and
deployed in large quantities.
Israel and the US have agreed to jointly develop new Short Range
Missile Defense (SRMD) capability. The systems will be optimized to
defend against short range ballistic missiles and long range rockets
with ranges of 70 - 200 km. The new system will establish a lower
tier, complementing the Israeli Arrow system, which extends the
defensive capability to longer range and higher altitude. The program
managed by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), which
already supervises Israel's ballistic missile defense program.
The SRMD program will be based on a interceptor, under development by
RAFAEL. The IMDO selected the solution proposed by a team headed by
Raytheon and RAFAEL. This team competed against another plan, proposed
by Boeing, IAI/MLM and ATK which proposed an Arrow derivative missile
interceptor, augmented by a lower tier RAM solution, based on a low
cost rocket to be developed by IMI. "Raytheon's
cooperation with Rafael ensures that Rafael's multi-mission
interceptor is designed from the start for seamless insertion into
U.S. terminal missile defense systems. Our approach provides the U.S.
with a low-cost extended air defense option for the future," said
Michael Booen, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missile Defense
programs commenting on the company's selection by the IMDO.
The interceptor proposed by Raytheon and RAFAEL, is specially designed
for all-weather, day and night “hit to kill” intercept, and is
considered to be low cost and optimized for the trajectory and short
flight time of the potential SRMD and rocket targets. "Our
interceptor solution fundamentally redefines the performance-cost
value equation for terminal missile defense, providing all-weather,
hit-to-kill performance at a tactical missile price," said David
Stemer, Rafael Missile Division general manager.
IAI, RAFAEL and Northrop Grumman have teamed in the past to develop
the Nautilus chemical laser based rocket and mortar defense program,
which has recently been cancelled due to lack of funding and limited
access to current generation (solid state laser) technology. Facing
the new threat of improvised rockets fired from the Gaza strip, Israel
could revive this program, which will be based on locally developed
directed energy sources.