Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has joined the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)/Boeing team bidding to develop a short-range ballistic missile defence (SRBMD) system to protect Israel from attacks by Kassam unguided rockets. Israel’s Rafael has teamed with Raytheon to compete for the programme.

Since September 2000, more than 300 Kassam short-range rockets have been launched from Palestinian territory into Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Defence Force, which fears larger, longer-range versions could hit strategic targets. The weapons have a current range of up to 8km (4.3nm), and Israeli intelligence sources say this is being constantly increased. The SRBMD system is required to detect Kassams early and intercept them at high altitude.

IAI and Rafael have completed concept studies and, this month, Israel’s Missile Defence Organisation is expected to select a team to complete the risk-reduction phase. Development and production will be a joint Israeli/US effort, with US Missile Defense Agency funding.

Boeing and IAI will produce the Arrow 2 interceptor, designed to protect against Scud-type ballistic missiles. ATK will provide the SRBMD system’s motor.

Source: Flight International