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Israel, US successfully test Arrow 3 long-range ballistic missile interceptor

The Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile being test-fired
Defense Ministry
Arrow-3 constitutes the fourth pillar and highest level of Israel’s multi-layered defense system

Israel and the United States successfully executed a test of the next-generation anti-ballistic missile system ‘Arrow-3 Interceptor’ on Monday morning, after two previous tests had been aborted earlier this year.

“Defense Ministry's Defense Research and Development Administration (ISDA), together with the American Missile Defense Agency (MDA), conducted a successful flight test for the Arrow 3 system for interception Ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere,” Israel’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The long-range system that intercepts missiles at greater ranges, heights and travelling at faster speeds, has significantly upgraded the Jewish state’s aerial defense mechanisms in the face of emerging threats.

The Arrow project was first launched in 1988 as part of the then Star Wars program under late US president Ronald Reagan that was abandoned in 1993.

Official

Partly financed by the United States, the Arrow system was developed and produced by Israeli Aerospace Industries in partnership with Boeing.

In January last year, the Israeli army released an official statement unveiling that air force bases had received the new missile interceptors alongside its already operational lower altitude interception systems.

This was followed by a malfunction in the target missiles, in both January and then again in December, which called for the tests to be aborted due to what appeared to be an inability to meet the required safety standards.


“The success of the experiment constitutes an important milestone in Israel's operational ability to defend itself against existing and future threats in the arena,” the ministry of defense statement said on Monday about the recent test that was conducted at a site in central Israel.

Arrow-3 constitutes the fourth pillar and highest level of Israel’s multi-layered defense system. The other tiers include the Iron Dome system for intercepting short range missiles, ‘David’s Sling’ a medium-range missile defense system and Arrow-2 weapons system for long-range rockets.

JACK GUEZ (AFP/File)

The primary contractor for the integration and development of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) along with America's Boeing, Elta, Elbit Systems, IMI, and Rafael.

Tensions between arch foes Iran and Israel have been mounting in recent months, with Israel fearing that Tehran is trying to establish a permanent presence in Syria as part of an effort to become a greater regional power in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce opponent of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration, believes that it has allowed the regime to develop a nuclear program will under protection from the international community. Netanyahu frequently warns, that flaws in the deal, will enable Iran to eventually enrich enough uranium to place itself on the threshold of mass-producing nuclear weapons.

The Arrow-3 system is perceived to be one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world.

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