Israel Aircraft Industries has shortlisted three US companies for an international marketing campaign for the Arrow anti tactical ballistic missile.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have been shortlisted, while General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have been dropped. Sources say there is an "inclination" to remove Lockheed Martin - a partner with Israel's Rafael on the Python 4 air-to-air missile and AGM-142 Have Nap/ Popeye TV guided air-to-ground missile - from the shortlist. A final decision is expected early next year.

IAIis seeking a US partner to allow the Israeli air force to acquire additional Arrow batteries using US foreign military sales funds. The USA provided around 60% of the $2 billion development funds. The Israeli air force says it plans to deploy three batteries.

A US partner will also allow manufacture of the system at a price that will make it attractive to overseas customers - Turkey and Japan have already expressed interest in a possible purchase.

As well as the Arrow missile, the system includes Elta Green Pine detection and fire control radar, and Tadiran Systems' Citron Tree fire-management system. A battery includes four launch vehicles each with six missiles.

Source: Flight International