Feb. 20 (UPI) — The United States and Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 weapons system to defend against ballistic missiles.
Israel Aerospace Industries, in collaboration with the Israeli air force and the United States’ Missile Defense Agency, conducted the test at 2:30 a.m. Monday at an unidentified site in central Israel, the U.S. Defense Department said in a release.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense confirmed the test, posting on Twitter that the exercise “designed to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere.”
Two previous test attempts were called off. In January, a communications glitch resulted in a data transfer problem. Previously, in December, a test was canceled because safety concerns arose when the Anchor-type target missile — which was fired from a jet — malfunctioned.
“The experiment we conducted today was very complex,” Boaz Levy, deputy CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries and manager of its Systems, Missiles & Space Group, told Fox News. “In the experiment, the interceptor simulated a full military scenario and the rocket did the route in full. And, if it had a real target, would have hit it. We are very pleased with the result.”
A more advanced test is scheduled in Alaska later this year, said Moshe Patel, the director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization.
“The Arrow-3 is designed for long-range threats, as well as unconventional threats,” said Patel, appearing to hint at Iran’s ballistic capabilities. “We are aiming for 100 percent success rate.”
The Arrow 3 weapons system has been in development for nearly a decade starting in 2008. The system was handed over to the Israeli Air force in January 2017 and includes four layers — Iron Dome and David’s Sling, and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems.
“The success of this test is a major milestone in the operational capabilities of Israel and its ability to defend itself against current and future threats in the region,” the Pentagon said in a press release.
The was handed over to the Israeli Air force in January 2017. In March 2017, Israel used the Arrow-2 system for the first time when it intercepted a surface-to-air missile launched from Syria the was headed toward Israeli fighter jets returning from an operation over Syria.