Israel Missile Milestones – 1953-2005

1953: Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), developer of the Shavit rocket, is established.

1965: France contracts to supply Jericho missiles to Israel.

1968: U.S. intelligence reports say Israel has made nuclear weapons.

1973: Israel deploys Jericho missiles, probably with nuclear warheads, during the October Arab-Israeli war.

1975: United States supplies Israel with nuclear-capable Lance missiles.

1983: Israel Space Agency is founded in Tel Aviv.

May 1986: The United States and Israel sign a memorandum of understanding on joint development of the Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) system.

1987: Test flight of an extended range Jericho-II missile.

1988: First flight of the Shavit space launcher puts Ofeq-1 satellite in low earth orbit.

1989: Reports say Israel is helping South Africa develop and test Jericho-II missile.

1989: Second Shavit launch puts Ofeq-2 satellite in orbit.

August 1990: The first Arrow-1 test is unsuccessful.

1991: Israel promises to abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

1992: Israel is accused of transferring U.S. Patriot missile technology to China.

February 1993: After several failures, Israel’s fifth test of the Arrow-1 proves the Arrow can locate and intercept an incoming missile.

Summer 1994: An Arrow interceptor missile destroys its target for the first time, serving as a proof-of-concept for the Arrow missile defense system.

1995: Third Shavit launch puts Ofeq-3 spy satellite in orbit.

July 1995: The first test of the Arrow-2, an operational version of the Arrow-1, is described as successful. The test is designed to evaluate the performance of the missile’s guidance systems and rocket engines.

February 1996: Israel conducts the second test of the Arrow-2. The test is designed to demonstrate the missile’s ability to intercept a simulated missile, and to evaluate the integration of the Green Pine Fire Control radar system, manufactured by Elta Electronics Industries, with the missile.

August 1996: The Arrow-2 successfully intercepts and destroys another missile, modified to simulate a Scud, in its inaugural intercept and third overall test.

March 1997: In another test, the Arrow-2 successfully intercepts and destroys its target despite a warhead failure.

April 1997: The United States agrees to increase its annual $200 million contribution to the Arrow program. It also agrees to continue working with Israel on the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) designed to destroy Katyusha rockets.

January 1998: The Ofeq-4 spy satellite fails to reach its proper orbit after being launched by a Shavit rocket.

May 1998: Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) announces an agreement with the Coleman Research Corporation to collaborate on the manufacture of small expendable satellite launch vehicles using technology developed for the Shavit.

September 1998: The Arrow-2 is successfully launched. It is the first time its three components – the missile, radar and fire-control systems – are tested together.

November 1998: The Oren Yaroq radar, capable of detecting missile launches from neighboring countries, becomes operational.

November 1998: In a special rollout ceremony, the head of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) hands over the Arrow missile system to Israeli’s Defense Ministry.

November 1999: The first intercept test of the fully integrated Arrow-2 system is successful.

March 2000: Israel agrees with the Russian Space Agency to launch eight Earth Resources Observation Satellites (EROS) from the Svobodnyy cosmodrome in Russia.

March 2000: The Israeli Air Force is reported to take command of its first Arrow-2 unit, located about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv.

April 2000: A Jericho-I missile is test-fired off the Israeli coast. The missile lands approximately 40 miles from a U.S. warship, which had not been notified about the missile test.

May 2000: At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, THEL is successfully tested for the first time, hitting a stationary target.May 2000: The London Sunday Times reports that Israeli defense sources claim Israel carried out test launches of cruise missiles from its newly acquired Dolphin-class submarines.

June 2000: The THEL system tracks and destroys a Russian Katyusha rocket in its first live-fire test.

August 2000: The THEL system shoots down two Katyusha rockets simultaneously during a test of the system’s ability to destroy multiple rocket launches.

September 2000: In its eighth test, the Arrow hits and destroys a rocket simulating a Scud. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) declares that the system is ready for use.

September 2000: Israel’s Green Pine radar, part of the Arrow missile defense system, reportedly detects a test launch of a Scud D missile by Syria.

September 2000: The United States reportedly gives tacit agreement to the sale of Israel Aircraft Industries’ (IAI) Green Pine fire control radar to India. The radar, a component of the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, reportedly would be used as a stand-alone system by India.

October 2000: Israel’s Arrow missile is declared operational.

August 2001: In its ninth test, the Arrow missile defense system shoots down a live “Black Sparrow” missile. According to officials cited in the Jerusalem Post, the Arrow strikes its target farther and higher than in any previous test.

January 2002: A U.S. Department of Commerce report identifies Israel, a non-member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), as a possible supplier of missile technology but notes that Israel abides by MTCR Guidelines, which aim to limit the proliferation of missile delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

January 2002: Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Boeing sign a strategic teaming agreement for the manufacture of the Arrow missile defense system.

May 2002: Israel puts Ofeq-5 spy satellite into orbit using a Shavit launcher.

June 2002: India’s defense secretary confirms in the press that India has acquired a Green Pine radar, which is part of the Arrow missile defense system, from Israel.

December 2002: Israel Defense Forces conduct an exercise to test a new system to identify missiles and determine their projected strike locations while the missiles are still in the air.

January 2003: In the tenth test of Israel’s Arrow missile, Israel fires four interceptor missiles at four simulated incoming rockets. The test, described as a success by Israel Defense Forces, is the fifth for the integrated Arrow Weapon System, which includes the “Green Pine” fire control radar, the “Yellow Citron” fire management system, the “Brown Nut” launch control center, and the Arrow launchers and missiles.

February 2003: Following up on their January 2002 strategic teaming agreement, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Boeing sign an agreement to establish production infrastructure to manufacture components of the Arrow missile in the United States.

October 2003: The Los Angeles Times, citing Israeli and U.S. officials, reports that Israel has modified the American-supplied submarine-based Harpoon anti-ship missile to carry nuclear warheads. However, some defense experts dismiss this report, claiming that it is impossible to make a Harpoon nuclear-capable without limiting its range and accuracy.

November 2003: A test of Israel’s new IAI-produced Long-Range Artillery (LORA) missile fails. Defense News describes the LORA as capable of delivering a 570-kg warhead within a 200-km range.

December 2003: Israel successfully conducts the eleventh test of its Arrow ballistic missile interceptor, intercepting a targeted “Black Sparrow” missile. The test also represents the sixth test of the complete Arrow Weapon System.

March 2004: IAI awards Boeing a $78 million contract to produce Arrow interceptor components.

May 2004: In a successful test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser (MTHEL), developed for the U.S. Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense, shoots down a large-caliber rocket carrying a live warhead.

May 2004: The Israel Air Force (IAF) conducts successful test launches of Patriot and Hawk missiles at an IAF base in central Israel.

July 2004: During the twelfth test of the Arrow missile and the seventh test of the complete Arrow weapon system, an Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile interceptor successfully destroys its target. The test is the first in which the Arrow intercepts a live Scud missile in flight; the previous eleven tests were with simulated Scud missiles.

August 2004: In a test, an Israeli Arrow missile fails to intercept its target, characterized as an “unreal threat that represents an extreme condition.” The target missile reportedly simulated an Iranian Shahab-3 or a Scud-D.

September 2004: Israel’s Ofeq-6 spy satellite is destroyed when the Shavit rocket carrying the satellite into orbit malfunctions on its third and final stage.

March 2005: Israel successfully tests its Long-Range Artillery (LORA) missile in the Mediterranean Sea, hitting a target some 200 kilometers from the launch site.

July 2005: Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industries (IMI) conduct a successful test of a new launcher capable of putting satellites into a low Earth orbit. The new launcher is intended to launch satellites that are heavier than the Ofeq spy satellites previously launched by the Shavit rocket.