PROLOGUE: Since this article was submitted, Israel has conducted another Arrow missile test, reportedly on March 11, 1997. Voice of Israel radio described the test as a "total success." Following an April 3, 1997, meeting between Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, U.S. Department of Defense spokesman Kenneth Bacon announced that U.S. aid to the Arrow [Deployability Program] could be increased 25 percent over its current $200-million-over-five-years projection - after consultation with Congress.
The five-year anniversary of the end of the Gulf War merits an examination of what has changed and remained the same in the region since the end of the conflict. Moreover, the financial and political costs borne by Washington in its foreign policy toward the Middle East will continue to reverberate both domestically and regionally, the current peace process notwithstanding. Toward this end, this paper will be limited to Israeli ballistic-missile defense initiatives undertaken with Washington both since the war and predating it, including the use of the Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile system (SAM), the Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile, and boost-phase intercept proposals. I will briefly summarize Tel Aviv's Gulf War experience, including Iraqi SCUD SSM attacks, the deployment of U.S. forces and Patriot missile batteries to Israel, and the ultimate disappointment of the Israeli political and military leadership over Patriot performance. Next, I will address the current ballistic-missile threat facing Israel from Iran, Iraq and Syria and the associated potential weapons-of-mass destruction threat posed by such ballistic missiles. I will then examine the Arrow ATBM program- including the system's origins, capabilities and costs - and the associated boost-phase-intercept concept. Finally, I will consider the political utility of the Arrow system, U.S. justification for involvement in the program, implications of a Damascus-Tel Aviv peace accord and the shape of the future ballistic-missile threat to Israel.
The Israeli public and the country's political and military leaders were relatively pleased with the security situation facing Israel heading into the 1990s. Committed to maintaining a technological edge over any potential regional aggressor or combination of aggressors and bolstered by Washington, Israel's leaders believed the existential threats posed by hostile neighbors had been reduced, although not eliminated.1 Like Washington, Israel watched apprehensively as Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The Israeli political leadership considered Saddam Hussein to be dangerous, unpredictable, and a destabilizing force in the region. The Gulf War did not mark the first hostilities between Israel and Iraq. Tel Aviv used the Israel Air Force (IAF) to demonstrate to the world, via the bombing of lraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981, that it would not allow Iraq nor any other state to threaten the regional "balance" of power - as Israel perceived it - by developing a nuclear capability and threatening Tel Aviv's alleged regional nuclear monopoly. The intifada was still relatively new, and Tel Aviv believed it could be contained relatively easily by "might, force and beatings," in the words of former Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The events of January and February 1991 shook Israel's perception of security to its foundation and demonstrated a glaring Israeli vulnerability to relatively unsophisticated SSMs.
Leading up to the Gulf War, Saddam had threatened to "bum half of Israel" with poison gas; however, many Israelis, including IAF commander Maj. Gen. Ben-Nun, dismissed the threats as bombast.2 Ben-Nun also used Army Radio to threaten Saddam: "I believe that Saddam Hussein ... and his air force commander know well that the carrying out of threats of this sort have very heavy implications. They know the Israel Air Force and its capabilities."3
Saddam's intentions were made plain on January 18, 1991, when the Iraqi SCUD bombardment of Israel began. A total of 39 SCUDs struck Israel, killing 13 and wounding 1,020 both directly and indirectly while damaging 12,000 private homes and businesses.4 Clearly, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were unaccustomed to this type of vulnerability; consequently, the IDF leadership planned a series of airstrikes and helicopter-borne commando raids on SCUD launch sites in western Iraq.5 However, these plans were never executed, due to the announcement and deployment of four U.S. Patriot missile batteries to Israel from Europe on January 19 and 20, I991.6 This deployment served as a symbol of Washington's commitment to Israeli security, marking the first time in history that U.S. forces were deployed to defend Israel. Washington provided Tel Aviv with two Patriot batteries after the war in an effort to reduce Israeli vulnerability to ballistic missiles and, arguably, to bolster the spirits of the badly demoralized populace. In addition, Germany purchased a third Patriot battery for Israel.7 Moreover, a secure communications link dubbed "Hammer Rick" had been established between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD). Notably, this allowed the Pentagon to pass to the Israeli leadership the warnings of Iraqi missile launches gleaned by satellites.8
Although the U.S. response was rapid, Tel Aviv was unimpressed with the performance of the Patriot missile during the war. It was designed by Raytheon to provide an advanced air-defense capability; however, the system had been upgraded since the early 1980s to provide ballistic missile defense capability.9 Nonetheless, the Patriot's technical performance in Israel during the Gulf War was problematic and served to underscore the difficulties of the system in discriminating incoming Iraqi SCUD warheads from fuel-tank fragments (as the missiles broke up upon reentry).10 Additionally, the flight speed of the Patriot dictated that intercepts occurred relatively close to their Israeli targets. These close range intercepts caused Israeli casualties and property damage as a result of falling debris from both SCUD and Patriot missiles.11 One post-conflict assessment of the Gulf War stated:
In effect, what Iraqi engineers had created, purely unintentionally and by poor workmanship and design, was a high speed, low radar-cross-section maneuvering reentry vehicle, accompanied by decoys.12
Problematic BMD technical performance notwithstanding, Tel Aviv received a third Patriot missile battery (in addition to the two provided by Washington) in 1993, with Bonn financing the $102 million acquisition.13 Additionally, the IAF upgraded its two U.S.-provided batteries in 1994 at a cost of $4.6 million.14 Despite criticisms of technical performance, the Patriot provided a much-needed boost to sorely tested Israeli morale during the Gulf War and allowed the Israeli political leadership to keep Tel Aviv from entering the conflict (and thereby straining the cohesiveness of the multinational coalition facing Saddam). While the Patriot remains in service in the IDF, it has been relegated to a point-defense role. Patriot shortcomings served as an impetus for the further development of the Arrow Antitactical Ballistic Missile System (ATBM, already under joint development by Washington and Tel Aviv). Before addressing the Arrow ATBM, an examination of the ballistic missile threat facing Israel is warranted.
THE BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT TO ISRAEL
Despite the progress made in the Middle East peace process to date (the 1993 Declaration of Principles between Israel and the PLO and the signing of the October 1994 peace accord between Tel Aviv and Amman), Syria, Iran and Iraq remain enemies of Israel. Moreover, these states are continually striving to bolster their ballistic-missile capabilities. The Gulf War demonstrated to the leadership of all regional states the efficacy of ballistic missiles in inducing terror in the target population.
The talks between Israeli and Syrian military and diplomatic leaders (in Washington D.C. and at the Wye Plantation in Maryland) provided faint hope for a potential peace accord between the longtime enemies. However, Damascus continues to develop its ballistic-missile capabilities, including the liquid-fueled SCUD-C and the Chinese solid-fueled M-9.
The SCUD-C represents a qualitative improvement in Damascus' capabilities. The mobile SCUD-C, with its 270-nautical-mile range (compared to a range of 165 NM for Syria's IS-missile SCUD-B arsenal) and a payload of up to 800 kilograms, gives the Syrians the ability to strike all of Israel, including the nuclear faci1ities at Dimona. Additionally, these missiles can be fired from more secure areas away from Damascus (owing to their range, this would complicate Israeli targeting efforts in the event of hostilities).15 Syria and North Korea agreed on a SCUD-C sale in 1989, with Damascus reportedly taking delivery of the first 20 missiles in April 1992, with at least another 40 - with a purported nerve-gas-warhead capability - allegedly delivered since.16 Syria is also reportedly building several missile-assembly plants, with North Korean assistance.17
Besides the SCUD-C, Syria has reportedly struck a deal to purchase the Chinese M-9 ballistic missile. With a range of approximately 325 NM, the M-9, like the SCUD-C, would allow the Syrians to strike targets throughout Israel.18 The M-9 was reportedly first tested by the Chinese in June 1988, with Beijing allegedly agreeing to sell the system to Damascus the following month. The next May, a purchase agreement was reportedly signed between the Syrians and Chinese. In August 1991, "foreign military intelligence reports" indicated that up to 24 M-9 launchers were sighted in Syria.19 Additionally, a 1992 IDF report asserted that Chinese specialists were working in Syrian factories in Hama and Aleppo to produce missile guidance systems. In February 1992, a group of Chinese scientists reportedly returned to China from Syria, where they were reportedly working on an M-9 production plant.20 Despite gaps in knowledge regarding Syrian progress with the M-9 system, both the SCUD-C and M-9 increase Syrian reach into Israel, and would, at the very least, serve as potent terror weapons against Israeli population centers in the event of war.
In addition to the Syrian threat, Israel faces a formidable ballistic-missile threat from Tehran. In addition to its SCUD-C arsenal, Iran is also slated to take delivery of the North Korean NODONG I missile. The NODONG I is a two-stage, liquid fueled ballistic missile with an assessed range of 540 NM. The system would allow Iran to strike targets within Israel; moreover, U.S. and Russian intelligence officials believe that the missile is capable of carrying both chemical and nuclear warheads.21 The North Koreans reportedly began development of the NODONG I in 1991, with the first flight test of the system occurring in 1993. The system is assessed capable of carrying nuclear, chemical or biological warheads.22 A recent report by the Congressional Research Service cited by The Jerusalem Post asserted that Iran ordered 150 NODONG I missiles, reportedly in return for oil shipments to Pyongyang, as part of an agreement that includes co-production in Iran.23 Although Iran has yet to take delivery of the system and may have to wait another year to do so, former CIA director John Deutch has stated that the NODONG I will probably reach operational status this year.24 And, North Korea has reportedly begun development of the NODONG II. With an assessed range in excess of 800 NM, deployment of this system by Tehran would further increase the threat to Israel.25
During the Gulf War, Saddam launched his "Al Hussein" missile- an indigenous Iraqi SCUD variant with a range of 325 NM - against Israeli population centers. Moreover, Baghdad deployed at least 12 of its 486-NM-range "Al Abass" missiles at three fixed sites in northern, southern and western Iraq.26 Although U.N. cease-fire terms have largely deprived Iraq of long-range missiles for the time being, it appears likely that Iraq will immediately return to pursuing efforts to develop them as soon as U.N. sanctions are lifted. While notoriously inaccurate and of little military value, the "Al Hussein" missiles effectively terrorized the Israeli populace during the war, serving as an added impetus for the continued joint U.S.-Israeli development of the Arrow system.
THE ARROW ATBM
The Arrow ATBM system- as currently configured - includes not only the Arrow missile but also launchers, the Green Pine fire-control radar, and associated support equipment. The missile is designed to destroy conventional and unconventional warheads on incoming tactical ballistic missiles. The system resulted from a 1986 study of Israel’s ballistic-missile defense requirements, funded by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO).27 An examination of the system's origins and history will provide a clearer understanding of some of the controversy surrounding the program.
Predating the Gulf War, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger invited U.S. allies, including Israel, to participate in President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). A secret memorandum of understanding was signed in May 1986 to facilitate Israeli participation. After the aforementioned study of Israel's ballistic missile defense requirements, Israel proposed five experiments to the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO, renamed BMDO in 1993); Arrow was among the proposals that SDIO accepted.28 In 1987, Congress designated Israel a "major, non-NATO ally," through an executive agreement with Israel. This agreement expanded the range of Pentagon contracts Israeli companies could bid on and paved the way for Israel's defense industry to have access to previously restricted U.S. technologies. This, in turn, facilitated Israel's full, formal involvement in SDI/Arrow in 1988.29 The BMDO is responsible for the U.S. cost share of the Arrow program along with U.S. oversight management, while the U.S. Army's Space and Strategic Defense Command - the Army's focal point for theater missile defense bears responsibility for project management for the United States.30 Meanwhile, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) is responsible for Israel's cost share, while the IAF is responsible for deployment and operation of the system.
The centerpiece of the Arrow system is the missile. The Arrow-2 missile is designed to travel considerably faster than the Patriot and consequently intercept incoming ballistic missiles at a much greater distance and altitude. The increased speed of the Arrow missile will result in intercepts outside of Israeli territory, limiting the potential chemical warhead threat to Israel.31 In addition to the missile, Israel has assembled two Green Pine fire-control radars that will detect and identify incoming ballistic missiles, as well as direct the intercept of the threat missiles.32 It is unknown at this time how many Arrow batteries and missiles Israel plans to deploy. Program testing began in August 1990 and continues. The first formal phase of Arrow development - Phase I - called for the completion of four flight tests by early 1991, with the expectation of a successful intercept before proceeding to Phase II. The initial test launch occurred on August 9, 1990, one week after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Although former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens termed the launch "a great technological achievement," the test failed to meet most of its objectives.
The next test, in March 1991, was disappointing. The third test, in October 1991, was a total failure. By this point, the program was behind schedule and in trouble; consequently, the expectation of a successful missile intercept was postponed until Phase II. Testing was suspended until technical problems were identified, and a U.S. Failure Analysis Team went to Israel. The final Phase I test in September 1992 was termed a "success."33
Washington and Tel Aviv signed a memorandum of agreement in May 1991 for Phase II of the Arrow's development (also known as the Arrow Continuation Experiments Series, or ACES), largely due to bipartisan consensus on the need to assist Israel in the wake of the Gulf War and also reward it for showing restraint in the face of Iraqi SCUD attacks. The ACES program consists of 11 flight tests, seven of which have been completed. The initial ACES test in February 1993 was deemed a success, although the warhead failed to explode and the desired range and altitude were not achieved. The Arrow test held in July 1993 could be classified as neither a success nor a failure, since the target missile was never launched. The next ACES test, held in October 1993, resulted in the interceptor missile approaching the target missile at a range close enough to destroy it; however, the warhead failed to detonate. The March 1994 test featured the launch of a target missile; however, an unspecified malfunction occurred during the countdown to launch of the interceptor missile. Consequently, the interceptor was never launched and the target missile was command-destroyed.34 On June 12, 1994, the final actual test of the Arrow I missile (excluding the aborted July 1993 test) featured a successful engagement.35 Flight testing of the Arrow-2 began last July 30, 1995, with missile sensors cueing on the sun as a simulated target and the warhead exploding.36 The second Arrow-2 flight test occurred on February 20, 1996. The test, involving both the Arrow-2 missile and the Green Pine radar passively tracking the missile, was deemed successful by the Israelis despite unspecified "minor" radar software glitches. The February 1996 test did not involve the intercept of a target missile. The most recent efforts occurred on August 20, 1996, and featured the interceptor missile successfully destroying the target missile in the first Arrow-2 intercept test.37 Despite setbacks encountered early in testing, the Arrow program, bolstered by the first three successful Arrow 2 missile tests, will continue for the foreseeable future.
One of the most contentious facets of the Arrow program is its financing, especially in light of its test history. System financing involves three key areas: Phase I testing (marked by the afore mentioned first four flight tests), ACES (marked by 11 total flight tests, seven which have occurred), and the Arrow Deployability Program. According to U.S. Government Accounting Office figures, the United States directly provided $125.5 million out of a total of $156.9 million for Phase I of the program, representing 80 percent of the funding. However, this does not include $7.9 million in U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants provided to Tel Aviv. Adding FMF funds to the stated U.S. contribution increases the U.S. financial stake in Phase I to 85 percent. An examination of costs associated with ACES reveals that the United States is directly providing $238.1 million out of a total of $330.7 million, 72 percent of the funding. However, this again does not include $90 million in FMF grants provided to Tel Aviv. Adding these FMF funds to the direct U.S. contribution increases the U.S. financial stake in ACES to over 99 percent.38 The current developmental phase of the program under consideration is the Arrow Deployability Program. This phase is designed to allow the integration of the jointly designed Arrow 2 interceptor missile and the Israeli-developed Green Pine fire-control radar, launch-control center, and battle-management center. At present, $500 million has been committed over the next five years for this phase, with Washington slated to provide $200 million, compared to Tel Aviv's $300 million.39 U.S. funding for this phase, currently scheduled for 40 percent, is considerably lower than in the previous two phases.
Although the total cost of fielding the Arrow system is outlined in the classified Arrow Deployability Program Memorandum of Understanding, this figure remains open to speculation at the unclassified level.40 It is unclear how many batteries Tel Aviv will eventually field; however, this will most likely be more of a political consideration than a military one.41 Moshe Keret, president of Israel Aircraft Industries (the Israeli system contractor) has estimated the total development and deployment cost of a 350-missile system to be $1.7 billion. IAF estimates top the $2- billion mark, while other estimates range as high as $5 billion.42 The high costs associated with system development and deployment initially led to a schism between Israeli MoD officials and the IAF. Despite strong support for the system by Israel's Gulf War Defense Minister Arens and MoD Director-General David lvry, many IAF officials were initially critical of the system primarily on the grounds of its high costs. Other IAF criticisms focused on the Arrow's siphoning funds from aircraft procurement, which was in turn perceived as detracting from Israel's offensive doctrine. An unidentified IAF officer summed up the feelings of many of his colleagues when he stated: "There will be an Arrow, but no Israel Defense Forces."43 Former IAF commander General Ben-Nun and retired Maj. Gen. Peled have criticized the system, Peled stating: "The Arrow is...simply not worth the cost."44 More recently, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Arnnon Shahak has also criticized the system: "The Arrow is not an answer to the new generation of ballistic missiles, but to the previous generation, which caused great damage in the Gulf War."45
So long as the United States has borne and will continue to bear a significant share of system development and deployment costs, the IAF tolerates the system, indeed, the IAF is now using a part of its budget to fund Arrow infrastructure costs.46 However, if and when U.S. system funding ceases, the IAF will almost certainly become more critical of problems encountered in the Arrow program.
Continued system development, U.S. funding of ACES, and the latest U.S. pledge to the Arrow Deployability Program indicate that government officials in Washington and Tel Aviv consider the Arrow to be an important program and a symbol of the strong ties between the United States and Israel. The Arrow was specifically designed for Israeli requirements to neutralize tactical ballistic missiles; moreover, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) currently under development by the United States did not meet Israeli requirements and could not be transferred to Tel Aviv because of technology-transfer restrictions.47 Consequently, the Department of Defense has no operational requirement for the Arrow missile and has no plans to buy it at this point.48 The potential for American taxpayer unhappiness with the Arrow program is real, since some Americans do not see any direct benefit accruing to Washington as a result of helping to develop a weapons system that the DoD has no plans of purchasing. However, the United States has received numerous benefits, especially in the areas of phenomenology and lethality.
OTHER BALLISTIC-MISSILE DEFENSE INITIATIVES
In addition to the existing Patriot batteries and Arrow system, Tel Aviv, working in tandem with Washington, is examining and evaluating other ballistic missile defense initiatives. The most significant initiatives at present are boost phase intercept (BPI) and the Nautilus laser. Boost-phase intercept involves attacking target missiles during the first minutes of flight, their most vulnerable point. This vulnerability results from the missile's slow speed, since it has yet to reach terminal velocity, and the missile's easily detectable, pronounced infrared signature. Any potential aggressor would also have to consider the possibility that if nonconventional warheads are used, a successful BPI could disperse those warhead agents while they were over the aggressor's territory.49 Tel Aviv and Washington are working to develop the concept more completely, and both sides recognize the need to fire high-speed rockets against enemy missiles; however, the consensus breaks down at this point. Israeli officials favor using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with long-loiter capabilities armed with air-to-air missiles capable of destroying enemy missiles shortly after launch. Israel's Rafael company has designed a high-speed, lightweight, air-to-air missile (the MOAB) to be used in the BPI role. The MOAB missile has a reported range of approximately 45 NM and can be carried on either a UAV or F-15 fighter.50 Although Tel Aviv has long had F-15 aircraft in its inventory, IAF officials believe that other missions, including striking enemy forces, positions and infrastructure, have a higher priority than circling and waiting for enemy missile launches.51 Conversely, the U.S. Air Force favors using the airborne laser (ABL), a U.S.-alone program aimed at using a laser mounted on an airborne platform in order to kill enemy missiles in the boost phase.52 Additionally, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Paul Kaminski wants to retain a BPI capability employing UAVs, in the event that the ABL fails or is behind schedule in 1998.53
Former Secretary of Defense William Perry in 1996 announced that Washington had allocated $10 million for UAV BPI; moreover, the Pentagon's FY 1997 budget request funds two BPI approaches. The U.S. Air Force budget contains $775 million over the next six years for an airborne laser demonstration, according to Under Secretary Kaminski, as reported in Aerospace Daily and relayed in the March 8, 1996 Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest. Regarding the $10-million UAV-program investment, Kaminski asserted: "This level of investment is sufficient to refine the concept and support a back-up...should problems develop with the airborne-laser demonstration." Additionally, BMDO will fund studies to evaluate the pairing of a kinetic energy interceptor with an unmanned aerial vehicle.54
The other potentially promising development being jointly pursued by Washington and Tel Aviv is the development of a high-energy laser gun. The "Nautilus" laser-effectiveness test program aiming to develop a Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL) air-defense system - began in 1991 under the aegis of the Army's Space and Strategic Defense Command (SSDC) and the Israeli MoD Directorate of Defense Research and Development. In test firings during February 1996, the laser downed three short-range Katyusha rockets at White Sands, New Mexico. According to one source, the intention is to develop the laser into an airborne system, possibly carried aboard a Boeing 747. U.S. Army officials have stated that Nautilus technology can be adapted to counter ballistic missiles and could potentially be mounted onboard UAVs. If the project succeeds, the laser would be used in a BPI role. The Pentagon has allocated $5 million this year toward the project, while Tel Aviv is slated to contribute $900,000.55 The THEL is reportedly scheduled for system tests at the White Sands Missile Range no later than November 1997. The projected cost of THEL is currently $89 million, with the United States scheduled to provide $59.5 million and Tel Aviv the remaining $29.5 million.56 Moreover, Washington recently demonstrated its support to Tel Aviv with the signing- between then Secretary of Defense Perry and then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres - of a new Statement of Intent (SOI) on Theater Missile Defense on April 29, 1996.
According to the SOI, the United States will provide a prototype Nautilus ready for testing in Israel by the end of 1997. The SOI will also give Tel Aviv access to U.S. intelligence capabilities to provide instant early warning of incoming ballistic missiles. 57 The Nautilus is reportedly slated to initially be deployed in northern Israel to defend against incoming Katyusha rockets fired by guerrillas in southern Lebanon.58 Additional BPI research and development funding and cooperation could be part of an expected U.S. defense package of up to $5 billion for Israel, should Tel Aviv decide to withdraw from the Golan Heights and reach a peace accord with Damascus.59
U.S. JUSTIFICATION FOR THE ARROW
The Arrow's test history and U.S. expenditures totaling close to $800 million for a system that the Defense Department has no plans to purchase have led some to question Washington's involvement in the program. According to former BMDO Director Lt. Gen. O'Neill, information gleaned helping Israel develop the Arrow 2 missile can be directly transferred to U.S. high-altitude battlefield defenses. In defense of the Arrow program, O'Neill stressed, "Arrow uses an identical focal plane array to that used by the (US Army's) THAAD (Theater High Altitude Area Defense)....[T]he data has been provided to the THAAD program.''60
O'Neill has also cited other benefits obtained from the Arrow program for U.S. Theater Missile Defense development, including "risk reduction data on hypersonic missile flight, lethality and kill assessment... (and) booster separation at high velocities."61 In a lecture at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, O'Neill stressed the utility of letting Tel Aviv experiment with development of ballistic-missile defense and its associated setbacks when he asserted, "We can let the Israelis make the mistakes first. What we're getting is a very aggressive, very well-documented test series (with) Arrow I and now moving into Arrow 2."62
Nonetheless, O'Neill left the door open for decreased U.S. funding for the system when he claimed, "If there's a peace agreement with Syria, Israel's need for a missile defense will be significantly less."63 The recent success of the first Arrow-2 intercept test augurs well for the program; however, the remaining Arrow 2 intercept and integration tests will be critical. Should failures result, especially in tandem with potential progress in Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations, the volume of criticism leveled by system opponents in Tel Aviv and Washington will almost certainly intensify.
Israeli ballistic-missile defense has made significant strides since the Gulf War, but so has the threat. An alleged U.S. intelligence product reportedly stated that China and North Korea will, within a "few" years, have the ability to develop ballistic missiles with warheads containing up to 100 submunitions. According to the report, these submunitions will be released approximately 60 km from the launch site and severely complicate the efforts of any ballistic missile defense system. 64 Moreover, proliferation of ballistic missiles and ballistic-missile defense technology may potentially spiral and create a situation similar to that between Moscow and Washington prior to the signing of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, to possibly include proliferation of technology such as low-observable reentry vehicles, decoys, chaff, and maneuverable reentry vehicles.65 These developments would sorely test the limits of deployed Arrow batteries, regardless of size and American assistance. From a purely military standpoint, each new regional, qualitative ballistic-missile proliferation threat could make the Arrow, as well as the Patriot and potential airborne laser, increasingly obsolete; however, technological upgrades could help the Arrow Weapon System remain able to address the threat.
With the possible exception of boost phase intercept, Israeli ballistic-missile defense is clearly dependent upon both U.S. technology and resources. The upcoming series of Arrow tests will have serious implications for the future of the program. While difficulties integrating the Arrow-2 missile with the fire-control radar, launch-control center, and battle management center are to be expected, problems with missile flight or repeated test failures of any components could lead to calls to end the program. Tel Aviv and the Israeli lobby do not wield omnipotent force within our domestic political arena, as evidenced by the sale of U.S. Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft to Saudi Arabia and the cancellation of the Lavi fighter program in the past decade.
American participation in joint development of Israeli ballistic-missile defense efforts serves as a symbol of Washington's commitment to Israeli security and to the attempted (in the case of ballistic-missile defense) maintenance of the Israeli technological military edge. As such, the American financial and technological commitment to Israeli ballistic-missile defense is arguably at least equally important politically as militarily. While the deployment of U.S. Patriot missiles to Israel during the Gulf War was of disputable military utility, the impact of the deployment on battered Israeli morale was unmistakable. U.S.-Israeli ties were perceived as solid by both sides, and this demonstration of Washington's commitment to Israel helped bring Tel Aviv to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. Nonetheless, U.S. involvement in Israeli ballistic-missile defense and its foreign-policy implications will be questioned as long as Washington continues to provide significant system funding. Arrow problems in the upcoming testing phase, regional proliferation of technologically advanced ballistic missiles, and especially the potential for seemingly unlimited and/or unending U.S. expenditures could eventually begin to threaten Washington's commitment to the Arrow system and perhaps ultimately place support of the system beyond the reach of domestic and bilateral political concerns.
1 Anthony H. Cordesman, After the Storm: The Changing Military Balance in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 593-595.
2 James T. Hackett, "Worst-Case Scenarios," The Jerusalem Post, April 7, 1995, p. 5, LEXIS NEXIS. Also, "Air Force Chief: Israel has Answers to New Threats," United Press International, July 16, 1990, International section, BC cycle, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also, Edward T. Pound and David Makovsky, "A Missile Under Fire," U.S. News and World Report, June 28, 1993, pp. 40-41.
3 Hackett, "Worst-Case," p. 5.
4 Steve Rodan, "Eye in the Sky," The Jerusalem Post, January 12, 1996, p. 14, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also, see Shlomo Gazit and Ze'ev Eytan, The Middle East Military Balance, 1990-1991, ed. Shlomo Gazit (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Post Press, 1992), p. 105.
5 David Fairhall, "Seeing SCUDs Before the Eyes," The Guardian (London), January 23, 1992, p. 19, LEXIS-NEXIS.
6 Gazit and Eytan, Military Balance, pp. 110, 460. In addition to the US Patriot deployment, The Netherlands also deployed a Patriot battery to Israel. See "Israel: The Price of Self-Defense," Middle East Magazine, June I, 1991, p. 18, Reuter Textline, LEXIS-NEXIS.
7 Congress, Senate, Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Fiscal Year 1992 Foreign Operations: Security Assistance in the post-Cold War Era, June 11, 1991, p. 14, Federal News Service, LEXIS-NEXIS.
8 Gazit and Eytan, Military Balance, p. I 09. Also see Lisbeth Gronlund, George Lewis, Theodore Postol and David Wright, "Highly Capable Theater Missile Defenses and the ABM Treaty," Arms Control Today 24 (April 1994), p. 4.
9 "Israel: Self-Defense," p. 18.
10 See Dore Gold, "A Successful Arrow Could Affect Negotiations," The Jerusalem Post, March 5, 1993, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also see Alexander Flax, "Implications of Defenses Against Tactical Ballistic Missiles," Arms Control Today 24 (May 1994), p. 9.
11 "Israel: Self-Defense," p. 18. According to some accounts, the Patriot system was limited to an effective range of 11 NM during its BMD stint in Israel; see "Israel Presses Ahead with Missile, Satellite Projects," COMPASS Newswire, April 12, 1995, LEXIS-NEXIS.
12 Gronlund et al, "Missile Defenses," p. 7.
13 Alon Pinkas, "IAF Completes Upgrade of lts Patriot Missiles," The Jerusalem Post, August 26, 1994, p. 3A, LEXIS-NEXIS.
14 "Palestinian Press Urges Action on the Syrian Track," Mideast Mirror, September 19, 1993, LEXIS-NEXIS.
15 Gold, "Successful Arrow," LEXIS-NEXIS.
16 For the sale details, see "North Korea Corners Middle East Missile Market," Middle East Defense News, May 18, 1992, LEXIS-NEXIS. For the alleged nerve gas SCUD-C warhead, see Cordesman, After the Storm, p. 55. Also see John Roberts "Middle East: Arms Control Efforts Fail to Halt Proliferation," Inter Press Service, June 18, 1992, LEXIS-NEXIS.
17 "Middle East Missile Market," LEXIS-NEXIS.
18 See Janne E. Nolan, Trappings of Power: Ballistic Missiles in the Third World (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1991), p. 76. Also see Tim Ahem, "Mideast Countries Race to Arm Themselves with Longer Range Missiles," The Associated Press, July 4, 1988, LEXIS-NEXIS.
19 See "Chinese Missile Sales: A Chronology," Middle East Defense News, May 17, 1993, LEXIS-NEXIS.
20 See "US Warns China on Missile Sales, Human Rights," Middle East Defense News, May 17, 1993, LEXIS-NEXIS.
21 See Douglas Jehl, "Iran is Reported Acquiring Missiles," The New York Times, April 8, 1993, sec. A, p. 9.
22 See "Israelis to Meet North Korean Officials Over Missile Sales," Agence France Press, June 21, 1993, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also see "South Korea Reports on North's Missile Programme," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 18, 1993, sec. 3, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also see Congress, House, International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, US Security Policy Vis-a-Vis Rogue Regimes, July 28, 1993, Federal News Service, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also see David Wright and Timur Kadyshev, "The North Korean Missile Program: How Advanced is It?," Arms Control Today24 (April 1994), p. 10.
23 James T. Hackett, "Answer to Iran's Threat," The Jerusalem Post, December 6, 1994, p. 6, LEXIS-NEXIS. Also see Jehl, "Iran Missiles," sec. A, p. 9.
24 For the delay in delivery to Iran, see "Report: Iran has Huge Weapons Stockpile," Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest, March 29, 1996, citing Journal of Commerce, March 29, 1996. For Deutch's assertion, see "International Effort Aimed at Ballistic, Cruise Threat," Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest, March l, 1996, citing National Defense, February 1996.
25 See Wright and Kadyshev, "North Korean Missile Program," 11, and Thomas W. Lippman, "At Stake in North Korea: Keeping a Lid on A-Arms," International Herald Tribune, June 15, 1994, LEXIS-NEXIS.
26 Cordesman, After the Storm, p. 57.
27 U.S. Government Accounting Office, National Security and International Affairs Division, U.S. Israel Arrow ACES Program: Cost, Technical, Proliferation, and Management Concern GAO/NSIAD-93-254 ([Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Government Accounting Office, National Security and International Affairs Division, August, 1993), p. 1.
28 Duncan L. Clarke, "The Arrow Missile: The United States, Israel and Strategic Cooperation," The Middle East Journal 48 (Summer 1994), p. 476, citing interviews with former officials of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, January 29, 1993, and Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), June 3, 1993; Martin Sieff, "U.S. and Israel Sign Agreement to Develop Secret Missile," Washington Times, December 23, 1987, p. 8.
29 Clarke, "Arrow Missile," p. 477, citing Karen L. Puschel, U.S. -Israeli Strategic Cooperation in the post-Cold War Era: An American Perspective (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), p. 96.
30 U.S. Government Accounting Office, Arrow ACES Program, p. 2.
31 See Martin S. Navias, Going Ballistic: The Build-Up of Missiles in the Middle East (London: Brassey's Ltd., 1993), p. 177. Also see U.S. Department of Defense Early Bird, August 2, 1995, citing "Arrow-2 Missile Test Advances Israeli Shield," Washington Times, August 2, 1995, p. 16.
32 For construction of the second radar, see Sharon Sade, "IAI Incurs Heavy Losses Due to Arrow Project," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), December 27, 1995, p. A2. For the initial radar construction, see Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Tel Aviv, 301519 November 94, citing Jerusalem Qo/ Yisrael, 1300GMT, November 30, 1994. For the reported Green Pine search range, see Arieh O'Sullivan, "Arrow to be Deployed by 1998," The Jerusalem Post, May 15, 1996, p. 12, LEXIS NEXIS.
33 See Clarke, "Arrow Missile," p. 479. For information on the final Phase I test, see Clarke, "Arrow Missile," p. 479, citing interview with an SDIO official, October 29, 1992; Bradley Burston, "Test May Have Saved Arrow Missile Project," The Jerusalem Post, March 27, 1991, p. l; David Silverberg, "US To Control Arrow Missile," Defense News, June 17, 1991, p. 4; and Barbara Opall, "Lockheed Role May Grow in Arrow Project," Defense News, January 6, 1992, p. 4.
34 In the first four flight tests, the Arrow I missile was used; in the last three flight tests and remaining four tests, the Arrow 2 - smaller than the Arrow I and slated to be the operational system missile-was and is slated to be tested. See Clarke, "Arrow Missile," p. 480. For the February and October 1993 tests, fuzing problems were encountered; see David Hughes, "Arrow Warhead Fails to Detonate," Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 25, 1993, p. 30. In the July 1993 test, the trajectory of the target missile was out of limits and the target missile was not fired. See Hughes, "Arrow Warhead," p. 30. For information on the March 1994 test, see "Technical Problem Prevents Unnecessary Test Launching of Arrow Missile," March 1, 1994, Israel TV Channel 1, Jerusalem, 1800 GMT.
35 See Dianna Cahn, "Arrow Missile Hits Target," United Press International, June 12 1994, LEXIS-NEXIS.
36 See David Hughes, "Arrow 2 First Flight Termed a Success," Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 7, 1995, p. 59.
37 For information on the latest Arrow test, see "Arrow 2 Intercept Attempt Successful," Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest, August 20, l996.
38 These funds were extracted from US GAO, Arrow ACES Program, p. 2.
39 Congress, House, Committee on National Security, Statement of lieutenant General Malcolm R. O'Neill, USA, Director, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, March 7, 1996, LEXIS-NEXIS.
40 Interview with BMDO official.
41 At present, the Israelis are reportedly planning to buy two Arrow batteries, one to be deployed in the Tel Aviv area, and the other to be deployed near Haifa. A tentative schedule calls for the first battery to be delivered in 1997, the second in 1999. See John C. Roper, "US to Boost Satellite Data for Israel," United Press International, April 28, 1996, Sunday, BC Cycle, LEXIS-NEXIS. Moreover, Israeli officials associated with the Arrow project have stated that the first battery will be deployed by late 1998. According to Israeli Air Defense Commander Brigadier General Yitzhak Ramot, "We (the Israelis) are preparing to receive the system by the end of 1998, beginning of 1999." See O'Sullivan, "Arrow to be Deployed," p. 12.
42 For Keret's projection, see Michael Mecham, "IAI Plans Arrow 2 As Two-Stage Missile," Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 21, 1993, p. 39. Refer to Scotty Fisher, "Israel's Defense Minister, Military At Odds Over Stake in Arrow Project," Armed Forces Journal International, December 1990, p. 30 for IAF cost estimates. Also see "Arrow Missile at $2 Billion," Sagit Publishing International Ltd, Israel, September 28, 1990, p. 4 for IAF estimates. For figures approaching the $5 billion mark, see Navias, Going Ballistic, pp. 177-178.
43 See Navias, Going Ballistic, p. 178. For the IAF officer's remark, see Navias, Going Ballistic, p. 178, citing Reuven Pedatzur, "Air Force: Developmental Costs of the Arrow—Approximately $2 Billion," Haaretz, September 12, 1990.
44 For the potential for increased IAF criticism, see Clarke, "Arrow Missile," p. 478. For Peled's remark, see Clarke, "Arrow Missile,"p. 478, citing Barbara Opall, ..US Ponders Plan to Lure Israelis Away From Arrow," Defense News, August 31-September 6, 1992, p. 44; also "Debate Emerges in Israel About Cost, Merit of Arrow Anti-Missile System," Inside the Army, January 27, 1992, p. 11; Bradley Burston, "IDF Barn-Door of Opportunity," The Jerusalem Post, May 17, 1991, p. 7; and Fisher, "Military at Odds," p. 30.
45 See "Shahak is Critical of Palestinian Authority and Wants Defense System Against Ballistic Missiles," Mideast Mirror, April 24, ·I995.
46 Regarding the Arrow Deployability Program, the US - beginning in FY 1997 - is slated to provide $35 million per annum over the next five years as negotiated in the Kaminski/Eilam Agreement (currently Memo for Record) of May I, 1995. At this same time, Tel Aviv's cost share will be $60 million per annum to fund the Arrow Deployability Program. This information was provided in an interview with a US Army Space and Strategic Defense Command official and also in an unclassified Arrow briefing provided by the US Army Missile Defense Program Executive Office. The information provided on the IAF using part of its budget on Arrow infrastructure costs was provided by a BMDO official.
47 Interview with BMDO official.
48 See US GAO, Arrow ACES, p. I.
49 See Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Tel Aviv, 1609292 October 1995, citing Reuven Pedatzur, "A New Threat to the Arrow," Haaretz, October 15, 1995, p. Bl.
50 Ibid. Also see Hackett, "Iran's Threat," p. 6.
52 Interview with BMDO official and with USAF official.
53 Interview with BMDO official.
54 For Perry's announcement, see Department of Defense, DoD News Briefing, February 16, 1996. For the Air Force BPI request and Kaminski's remarks, see Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest, "Pentagon Budget Keeps Boost Phase Intercept Effons Alive," March 8, 1996, citing Aerospace Daily, March 8, 1996.
55 For the information contained in the reference paragraph, see "Israel-U.S. Laser Gun Could Change Battlefield," COMPASS Newswire, March 1, 1996, LEXIS-NEXIS.
56 Interview with US Anny Space and Strategic Defense Command Official.
57 See "US-Israeli BMD Cooperation Gets Bipartisan Support," Information Access Company, May 3, 1996, LEXIS-NEXIS.
58 See Jerusalem Post Staff, "Nautilus Laser to Arrive for Tests," The Jerusalem Post, June 24, 1996, p. 1, LEXIS-NEXIS.
59 "Israel-U.S. Laser Gun Could Change Battlefield," COMPASS Newswire.
60 See Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External Affairs Digest, "O'Neill: Israeli Project Benefits U.S. Upper Tier Defenses," February 28, 1996, citing Defense Week, February 26, 1996. A focal plane array is a small energy detector used in the Arrow's infrared seeker and is among the most sensitive US technologies provided to Israel for the Arrow program. See US GAO, Arrow ACES, p. 10.
61 BMDO, External Affairs Digest, "Israeli Project."
62 See Hillel Kuttler, "Pentagon Official: Arrow Already Helping US," The Jerusalem Post, July 15, 1995, p. 24, LEXIS-NEXIS.
64 See Pedatzur, "New Threat," p. Bl.
65 Flax, "Implications of Defenses," p. 7.
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