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‘Extraordinary’ Missile Defense Test Boosts Israeli, US Confidence in Arrow System

Missle Defense test
Credit: The Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson

JERUSALEM, Israel - Historic and unprecedented. That’s what the US and Israel are calling the test results of the Arrow 3 Weapon System.

Israel and the US successfully tested Israel’s Arrow 3 ballistic missile defense system.  The test that took place over Alaska over the last few weeks, has been hailed as historic and unprecedented.  It also follows Iran’s test of a medium-range ballistic missile last week.

The US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting to talk about what Netanyahu called the “three pioneering secret experiments” over recent weeks.

“They were successful beyond any imagination. The Arrow 3 – with complete success – intercepted ballistic missiles beyond the atmosphere at unprecedented altitudes and speeds. The execution was perfect – all precise hits,” Netanyahu said just before they watched video of the launches and hits.

“The results were extraordinary,” Friedman said. “We're very proud of our partnership with the state of Israel, the funding that we provided for this, the technical expertise that we added, obviously making our airspace available for this test over Alaska.”

The test comes at a time of growing tensions between the US, Britain and Iran.  The Arrow 3 weapon system was tested against targets that behave like the ballistic missiles Iran is developing. 

“Today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles that could be launched against us from Iran or anywhere else. This is a great achievement for the security of Israel. All of our enemies should know that we will overcome them in both defense and offense,” Netanyahu said.

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Israel Ministry of Defense (MOD), together with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) carried out the test, headed by the MOD and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). 

Israel transported and deployed the Arrow 3 system to Alaska to test capabilities that could not be tested in Israel.

The long-range Arrow 3 ballistic missile defense system took 10 years to develop.  It’s designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere, like intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The test also proved the Arrow3 has operational interoperability with the AN-TPY2 radar system of the US. 

The Arrow3 is the highest level of Israel’s four-tier missile defense system that includes the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow 2 weapon systems.

Besides the successful test of the rocket, defense officials, Netanyahu and Friedman hailed the close cooperation and strategic partnership between Israel and the US.

“This is an extraordinary and an unprecedented example of the cooperation between our two great countries and from here may we continue to go upward and onward in making the world a safer place,” Friedman said.

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