Skip to comments.SM-3 Considered as Backup Option for Ambitious Arrow-3
Posted on 11/08/2009 1:40:31 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The development schedule for a new U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor system is overly ambitious, and defense authorities likely will have to implement a backup plan if countries like Iran acquire a nuclear-tipped missile before the end of the next decade, according to defense experts.
Advanced sensor and propulsion capabilities envisioned for the Arrow-3 interceptor likely will take significantly longer to develop than the five or six years estimated by Boeing Co., particularly given the programs funding level, the experts said.
Look at any system that is developed it takes 10 years from concept to deployment and theres not much [funding] going in there, said Riki Ellison, president of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance here. You usually spend about $1 billion on research and development in missile defense programs, he said.
Israel and the United States budgeted $20 million for the Arrow-3 program in 2008, and $40 million in 2009, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) officials. While the United States has no plans at this time to use Arrow-3 for its own missile defense needs, it may consider the system at a later date if performance and cost goals are achieved, the officials said.
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Patrick OReilly, director of the MDA, told Congress this year that a land-based variant of the U.S. Navys Standard Missile (SM)-3 is one option for defending Israel in case a potential threat materializes before Arrow-3 is ready.
The SM-3, built by Raytheon Missile Systems of Tucson, Ariz., is currently launched from Aegis ships, but the MDA is planning a land-based variant as part of its recently revamped plan for the European missile shield.
Ellison said risk involved in Arrow-3 is very high compared with the SM-3.
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