Israel and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted a successful test of the Arrow-3 long-range missile interceptor, the Israel’s Defense Ministry said Monday.
The Arrow-3 missile defense system, which can intercept long-range ballistic missile while they are still in the atmosphere, was developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement that the trial was conducted in central Israel at 2:30 am (0:30 GMT.) The test of the anti-ballistic missile was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Israeli Air Force (IAF).
“The Defense Ministry and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency carried out a successful planned flight test of its Arrow 3 system,” the statement read. “An Arrow-3 interceptor was launched and carried out its mission,” the statement added.
“The experiment we conducted today was very complex,” said Boaz Levy, Deputy CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries and manager of its Systems, Missiles & Space Group.
“The rocket performed as expected. We’re very pleased with the results,” Levy noted. He added that “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’ve achieved all the goals we set for ourselves in full before embarking on tests in Alaska.”
The successful trial followed two tests that had to be canceled in the last minutes in the past months, one due to data transfer failure and the other due to safety concerns.
The system is part of the country’s multi-layer defense doctrine, which also includes the Iron Dome, a system aimed at intercepting short range rockets from Gaza and the David’s Sling, which can intercept medium-range missiles owned by the Iran-backed Hezbollah organization in southern Lebanon.
Arrow 3 or Hetz 3 is an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile (ABM), jointly funded and developed by Israel and the United States.
Undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, it is overseen by the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s “Homa” administration and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The system provides exo-atmospheric interception of ballistic missiles (during the space-flight portion of their trajectory), including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads.
With divert motor capability, its kill vehicle can switch directions dramatically, allowing it to pivot to see approaching satellites. The missile may have a reported flight range of up to 2,400 km (1,500 mi).
According to the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency, Arrow 3 may serve as an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT), which would make Israel one of the world’s few countries capable of shooting down satellites.