The Israeli Air Force successfully intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a Patriot missile during a test of an air defense system meant to counter new threats.
The interception was part of a larger exercise planned in advance for 2017, according to the IDF.
Lt. Col. Raz Nahum, an IDF Patriot battalion commander, said, “During the course of the training exercise, several Patriot missiles were fired at targets designated as threats. This drill is a direct continuation of attempts in recent years to violate the sovereignty of the state of Israel.”
“There is no doubt that after the drill we conducted we improved the awareness of our personnel and the effectiveness of the system,” he added.
The Patriot missile defense system was first given to Israel by the U.S. in 1991 to defend against Iraqi SCUD missiles during the first Gulf War. Today, Patriot is still considered the most advanced air defense system for countering threats from ballistic missile programs like the one belonging to Iran.