Just two days after Iranian military fired a missile into northern Israel from Syria, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted a planned trial of the Arrow-3 missile defense system.
After two scheduled tests were canceled, a successful test of the Arrow 3 system was carried out on Monday morning. The Arrow 3 is an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile, jointly funded, developed and produced by Israel and the U.S. In layman’s terms, the Arrow 3 is designed to defend against long-range missiles, stopping them while they are still in the space-flight of their trajectory. It carries a warhead but is designed to crash into the enemy missile.
After the successful test, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the team behind the test. “Our enemies who seek to destroy us should know that Israel’s clenched fist will reach all those who seek our ill and we will settle accounts with them,” he said.
“Israel and the US have the deepest cooperation between their defense industries. I would like to express special appreciation for our ally, the United States, for the security cooperation in testing and developing our defensive systems, including the Arrow missile.”
The Arrow 3, purported to be the most advanced and effective anti-ballistic missile system currently in existence, is intended to defend against the type of ballistic missiles currently being developed by Iran to carry nuclear or chemical payloads. The Arrow 3 will be part of a multifaceted missile defense in which the Iron Dome System defends against short-range projectiles, the Arrow 2 defends against mid-range projectiles, and the Arrow 3 defends against long-range and ballistic missiles.
Congratulations on the successful test of the Arrow 3 missile this morning. Right on target! We need to be quick, accurate and smart to beat those who seek our harm. Many thanks on behalf of the Israeli people. pic.twitter.com/88H2aOqkAn
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) January 22, 2019
The test on Monday, hosted by Israel Aerospace Industries at the Palmachim Air Force Base in central Israel, involved intercepting a target missile off the coast that simulated a long-range missile.
“Following the launch, the Arrow’s radar spotted the target on its radar array and transferred the data to its fire management center, which analyzed it and fully planned the interception. Once the planning was completed, an Arrow 3 interceptor was fired at the target, which completed its mission with complete success,” the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement.
מדובר בניסוי חץ 3, השכבה העליונה ביותר ליירוט טילים בליסטיים. הניסוי בוצע מהיחידה לניסויי טילים בבסיס חיל האוויר בפלמחים. כעת מנתחים את תוצאות הניסוי. pic.twitter.com/ZrEp5zAbpR
— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) January 22, 2019
Boaz Levy, the general manager and executive vice president of Aerospace Industries Systems, Missiles & Space Group, emphasized that the test was comprehensive, proving the effectivity of every aspect of the the Arrow 3.
“During the interception test, we imagined a full operational scenario. In other words, the entire weapons system has been proven in this experiment,” Levy said to the media. “The interceptor itself flew a course as if it were heading towards a real target in the sky. If there was a real target there, it would have hit it.”
According to the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency, Arrow 3 may serve as an anti-satellite weapon, which would make Israel one of the few countries capable of shooting down satellites.
Further tests will be carried out on the Alaskan island of Kodiak in cooperation with the US Missile Defense Agency, where the system will be tested against similar but larger scale interceptions.
The test comes in the wake of an Iranian missile that was shot at Israel by Iranian military from Syria on Monday. The missile was intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome system.