Photo Credit: Times of Israel

The Washington Times reports that the U.S. and Israel are collaborating on a groundbreaking missile defense system that can target and eliminate threats in the atmosphere and in space, officials from the two nations said Thursday.

The Arrow 4 system represents the next generation of “endo-exoatmospheric interceptors and will be implemented gradually, officials said, ultimately replacing existing Arrow 2 and 3 systems within several decades.

The Arrow 4 project is a direct collaboration between the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

While officials did not name one specific threat as the motivation for the new system, it’s clear that Arrow 4 is being developed with an eye toward Iran, which has routinely threatened Israel‘s existence and continues to work on its own advanced missile programs.

“Arrow 4 is a cooperative program between MDA and IMDO that illustrates U.S. commitment to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the state of Israel from emerging threats,” said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill.

Israeli military officials said the new program, the latest in a series of joint military efforts between the U.S. and Israel, will enhance national security.

“Over the last three decades, we have developed one of the most advanced missile defense arrays in the world, built of four combat-proven operational layers,” said IMDO Director Moshe Patel. “These capabilities are being constantly improved against emerging threats, Arrow 4 will have outstanding flight and interception capabilities, and continue to ensure the security of the State of Israel.”