U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said last week that Israeli interceptors like Arrow and Iron Dome, which shoots down short-range guerrilla rockets, were “designed to prevent wars”.
Arrow has scored a 80 percent to 90 percent success rate in field tests, system designer Uzi Rubin told Israel’s Army Radio.
“It’s always undergoing changes and improvements, as well as adaptations to new threats,” Rubin said.
Iran on Saturday unveiled a new short-range missile which it said was capable of striking land and sea targets. Syria, for its part, last month went public with its chemical arsenal, saying it was intended for last-resort use against “external aggression”.
Tehran also has Islamist guerrilla allies in Lebanon and Gaza who could shell neighboring Israel during any regional conflict. Their short-range rocket arsenals have been expanding and improving as well, the senior Israeli defense official said.
Having helped underwrite Arrow, the Americans were free to draw on its technologies for their own uses, the official said.
“The policy of the (Israeli) Ministry of Defense is to provide all data to the U.S., for the security of the U.S., including on targets, interceptors, radars and command and control,” the official said.