The growing threat from countries with a huge arsenal of long-range missiles, some with chemical warfare warheads, is forcing Israel to improve its defences.
The Arrow air defence system, designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles, will continue to evolve this year with a wide range of improvements and upgrades.
Some of the new improvements include the establishment of a new interception management centre, deployment of armoured launchers with enhanced firing capacity, better communications with other missile systems, and longer-range interception capabilities.
"The range of targets and threats that the system can deal with will broaden," explained Maj Roie Feldshuh, Head of the Arrow Division in the Shield Administration, which is responsible for the development of weapons in the Air Defense Formation.
"We will be able to intercept targets at both longer ranges and lower altitudes," he told the IAF magazine.
As part of the upgrade, a new interception management centre will be established, with improved capabilities including more management posts, technical and operational improvements. It will be equipped with the new cutting edge Super Green Pine detection radar made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
"It is the most advanced radar system," Feldshuh said. "Its detection capabilities are twice as good as the detection capabilities of the current radar, Green Pine.
"In the Arrow system we don't remove military equipment, rather we add more and more. At the same time as Super Green Pine, the Green Pine radars will continue to function, and thus we will create far greater detection capabilities."
Furthermore, as part of the series of upgrades, permanent Arrow batteries will be stationed on an IAF base. Also, information sharing with other air defence systems will improve. The upgrade will allow for optimal co-ordination against medium-range missiles with the David's Sling air defence system, which is scheduled to enter into operational use in the coming years.
This system is now being developed by Rafael in co-operation with Raytheon.