Israel's Defense Ministry and the United States Department of Defense signed a deal Sunday to develop the Arrow 3 missile system. The Arrow system was built to intercept ballistic missiles.
The Arrow 3 is expected to be able to intercept ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction at more than 100 kilometers above the earth's surface – beyond the boundary between earth's atmosphere and outer space.
The US has supported Israel's development of the Arrow system for more than two decades. The latest stage in development is expected to cost approximately $100 million, and to take two to three years to complete.
Sunday's agreement was signed by Brigadier-General Ofir Shoham, head of the Ministry of Defense MAFAT Research and Development, and by Lieutenant-General Patrick O'Reilly, head of the US Missile Defense Agency.
The ability to intercept missiles at great distances is intended to reduce the danger if the weapon is bearing a biological or chemical warhead. In addition, it allows for an additional response if the first Arrow misses its target.
The system will face its first test in early 2011. Its creators hope it will be fully operational by 2012.