Tech Transfer Worries Stall Boeing Arrow Talks With IAI

Said_PVO 07-02-2001 10:57

Talks underway for about a year on possible Boeing co-production of Israel's Arrow Weapon System are on hold until technology transfer concerns are ironed out, Boeing reports.

Israel Aircraft Industries won the prime contract for the Arrow, Israel's national missile defense system, in 1988, and the first of three AWS batteries became operational last year. But Israel and the U.S., jointly funding the program, hoped to reduce missile cost and speed production, and IAI started talks last year with U.S. defense contractors in hopes of working out co-production agreements.

Boeing said in a prepared statement this week that it is suspending co-production negotiations "until technology transfer issues are resolved," but didn't elaborate.

The U.S. and Israel are working together on an Arrow Deployability Program (ADP) to complete the developmental stage of the AWS and fully integrate the different components such as the fire control radar and fire control center. Another ADP goal is to establish that the system can operate cooperatively and alongside U.S. theater missile defense systems. That effort runs through 2002.

The basic Arrow interceptor is a two-stage missile with a blast-fragmentation warhead. U.S. approaches, such as the Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) and Raytheon PAC-3 systems, use kinetic energy from a direct hit to destroy their targets. According to the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the Arrow functions somewhere in between the PAC-3 and THAAD systems.

Boeing is a major contractor to BMDO, and is prime on the U.S. National Missile Defense program. Late in December the company won work worth as much as $6 billion to continue NMD development and testing through September 2007, as well as to possibly expand the testing's scope. If all the options are exercised, the work could be worth some $13 billion. Boeing's contract was due to expire next April. By Jim Mathews, 26-Jan-2001 9:05 AM U.S. EST