Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system

Defense Ministry says radar arrays detected incoming ‘target’ and two Arrow 3 interceptors were fired at it, destroying it; trial follows recent Iranian ballistic missile tests

By JUDAH ARI GROSS and TOI STAFFToday, 6:47 amUpdated at 8:30 am  

A test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system released by the Defense Ministry on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)

A test launch of the Arrow 3 missile defense system released by the Defense Ministry on July 28, 2019. (Defense Ministry)

Israel conducted a successful test of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system on Tuesday morning, the Defense Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the live-fire test was conducted over central Israel.

“The operational radar arrays of the Arrow system detected the target and sent the data to the fire management system, which analyzed the data and fully plotted the interception. Once the plans were completed, two Arrow 3 interceptors were fired at the target, and they completed their mission successfully,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Arrow 3 is currently Israel’s most advanced long-range missile defense system, meant to intercept ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, taking out projectiles and their nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional warheads closer to their launch sites. It is a joint project by the Defense Ministry’s Missile Defense Organization and the American Missile Defense Agency. Work is underway on the development of a yet more advanced system, the Arrow 4.

It was not immediately clear what was being tested with Tuesday’s Arrow 3 system in the trial, but the head of the Defense Ministry’s Weapons Development and Technology Infrastructure Administration, Danny Gold, described it as “a breakthrough that represents a technological leap forward in the capabilities of the defense establishment to renew and to match the emerging threats regionally and on the future battlefield.”Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Editionby email and never miss our top storiesNewsletter email addressGET ITBy signing up, you agree to the terms

Tuesday’s test followed a number of recent ballistic missile tests by Iran in recent weeks.

In an apparent threat to Iran, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the test ensured Israel’s ability to take action freely.

“We are preserving Israel’s ability to defend itself against developing threats in the region and allowing Israel offensive freedom of operation against its enemies, from an understanding that the best defense allows for the most effective attack,” he said.

The Arrow 3 was first tested successfully in February 2018, after months of delays and technical problems. It is considered one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world and has been in development since 2008.

Complemented by a number of other missile defense systems designed to protect Israel from short-, medium- and long-range attacks, the Arrow 3 represents the highest level of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense network.

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