A little more than a day after Israel pounded Iranian targets in Syria in reprisals for a missile launched on the Golan Heights, Israel’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully tested the Arrow-3 missile-defense system.
The test, conducted in partnership between Israel Aerospace Industries and the Israeli Air Force, caused loud explosions near the Palmachim Air Base and was heralded as a success.
“This successful test provides confidence in Israel’s capability to protect itself from existing threats in the region,” said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves. “My congratulations to the Israel Missile Defense Organization, the Israeli Air Force, our MDA team and our industry partners. We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats.”
The test run was in the works before Iran fired a medium-range missile at the Golan Heights on Sunday, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system. Israel responded by hitting multiple targets belonging to Iran in Syria.
Arrow-3 contractors included the Israel Aerospace Industries MALAM division, Elbit Systems’ Elisra division, IAI’s TAMAM division, IMI and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, as well as America’s Boeing.
Arrow-3, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles from outer space, neutralizing them before they even enter Earth’s atmosphere, is considered the most state-of-the-art interceptor and the only one that crashes into missiles, rather than detonating them with warheads.
It will serve as the top of the multi-layer Israeli air-defense system, joining the ranks of Arrow-2, David’s Sling and Iron Dome.
Tuesday’s test follows another successful trial in February 2018. Previous tests detected flaws that have since been fixed.