Israel deployed its Arrow long-range air defence missile for the first time last month, shooting down a ballistic missile in outer space, which is being called the first space battle.
Houthi terrorists launched an Iranian-made Ghadr-110 ballistic missile at Israel last month which was intercepted by an IDF Arrow 2 missile. Incredibly, the interception took place well out of Earth’s atmosphere above the 100km (62 mile) Karman Line, which denotes the boundary of outer space.
Ballistic missiles use rocket boosters to accelerate into outer space before their trajectory brings them down to earth again, plunging down towards their intended target.
As a report in the British newspaper of record’s Times on the interception notes, the taking down of the Iranian-made missile was the first time a battle was known to have been fought in space.
Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, a scientist and chairman of Israel’s space agency explained the logic behind developing such a capable anti-missle system that was even capable of taking out targets in space. Referring to a massive strike of 42 Iraqi Scud missiles fired against Israel in 1991, Professor Ben-Israel told The Times Israel believed future ballistic missile strikes against the nation could carry nuclear warheads.
Consequently, he said: “we needed to respond as high as possible and as far away from the borders of Israel”.
Just days after the historic interception, Israel launched the Arrow 2’s successor, the Arrow 3 for the first time, again shooting down a Houthi-launched ballistic missile over the Red Sea.
As previously reported, the capability of the Israeli-U.S. Arrow missile has been noted by Western partners, and Germany has just placed a major order to buy the defence system from Jerusalem this year. Said to be worth $3.5 billion, it is one of the largest defence sales deals for Israel ever and is expected to be delivered by 2025.