Germany gets a ‘Yes’ to buy a hypersonic ‘body-to-body’ interceptor

JERUSALEM, ($1=3.22 Israeli Shekels) — The German government has received permission from the United States and Israel to acquire the Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor, which is a joint venture between the two countries. The news was spread by the Israeli online portal Jerusalem Post.

Germany may buy the Israeli Arrow 3 hypersonic ABM interceptor
Photo credit: gov.il

The agreement means that Germany could become the first foreign customer of the Arrow 3 system, which is still under development. This also means that Berlin’s interest is serious and the first step towards the acquisition has been taken.

BulgariaMilitary.com announced Germany’s interest in the US-Israeli exoatmospheric hypersonic anti-ballistic missile on March 28th. “We need to defend ourselves better against the Russian threat. That’s why we need a German-scale missile shield quickly,” said then Bundestag rapporteur for the defense budget Andreas Schwartz.

The head of the German Air Force, Lt.-Gen. Ingo Gerhartz said on Monday [April 4th] that Germany can provide air defense to the country from short- and long-range missiles. He reminded us that the Patriot system will most likely be optimized, which BulgarianMilitary.com also announced. “[But] if it means [threats at a range of] 15,000 km. [9,320 miles] and then it is exo-atmospheric, we don’t have anything, and that’s why I had a close look at the Arrow 3 and we are really interested in the system,” Gerhartz said, adding: “They [Israel and the US] have given us the approval that we can cooperate on it. But, we still have to talk about the details.”

Germany may buy the Israeli Arrow 3 hypersonic ABM interceptor
Photo credit: The Times of Israel

The war in Ukraine has forced Germany to consider better combat capability. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that only weeks ago, as we reported, Berlin was turning its attention to the latest version of the Patriot with the promising radar of the latest generation GhostEye [formerly known as LTAMDS]. Moreover, Germany is ready to abandon the co-developed with the United States ground-mobile air and missile defense system MEADS [Medium Extended Air Defense System] to get the latest version of Patriot.

Arrow 3 (Hetz 3)

Israel [IAI] and the United States [Boeing] co-financed and developed the exosphere hypersonic anti-ballistic missile interceptor Arrow 3. An Arrow 3 battery is expected to intercept salvos of more than five ballistic missiles within 30 seconds. Ballistic missiles fly in space during their stay above the ground. Arrow 3 must intercept and destroy ballistic and intercontinental ballistic missiles at the very moment they are in the exosphere.

Arrow 3 reaches a maximum flight altitude of 2,400 cm. The rocket has an integrated divert motor that pivots the rocket to avoid a collision with a satellite. For this reason, the Israeli Ministry of Defense believes that Arrow 3 can also be used as an anti-satellite missile system.

Germany gets a 'Yes' to buy a hypersonic 'body-to-body' interceptor
Photo credit: EuroAsia Times

The integrated divert motor that pivots the rocket has another function, which is related to the interception of hypersonic missiles. When a ballistic missile is detected, an Arrow 3 missile is also fired. It goes into space and can stay there for a while while the earth’s stations determine and calculate the trajectory of the enemy’s ballistic missile. Then, the Arrow interceptor is redirected using its thrust-vectoring nozzle to close the gap and conduct a “body-to-body” interception.

Arrow 3 has an Inertial navigation system [INS] gimbaled seeker. The rocket also has a Steering system thrust vectoring. It can be launched from rapid launch fortified underground silos. The missile has been in production since 2017, and in addition to its possible acquisition by Germany, Azerbaijan [besides Israel] is the other missile user, ordering two units of this system to protect itself from Iranian missiles.

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