Israel and the United States successfully tested a joint ballistic missile interceptor that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said delivers protection against potential threats from Iran.
The tests of the hypersonic Arrow-3 system were carried out in the U.S. state of Alaska. It succeeded in hitting targets above the atmosphere, Israel’s defence ministry confirmed.
“The flight tests were conducted in Alaska in order to test capabilities that may not be tested in Israel,” a ministry statement said.
Netanyahu said on Sunday, “today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles that could be launched against us from Iran or anywhere else”.
PM & DM Netanyahu made the following the remarks (English captions available):
In recent weeks we have carried out three pioneering secret experiments of the Arrow 3 missile. These experiments were held in the US, in Alaska, in full cooperation with our great ally the US. pic.twitter.com/u49hYMuSVC
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 28, 2019
“This is a great achievement for the security of Israel,” he added, before warning, “All of our enemies should know that we will overcome them in both defense and offense.”
Arrow-3, along with the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow-2 systems, is part of the multi-layered shield Israel is developing to defend against rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon, as well as Iran’s long-range missiles.
The Arrow system, partly financed by the United States, was developed and produced by Israeli Aerospace Industries in partnership with Boeing.
Arrow-3 has been in development since 2008 and is intended to serve as Israel’s highest-altitude missile interception system. The system was last tested in January from the Palmachim air base in central Israel.
In March 2017, Israel used the Arrow-2 system for the first time when it intercepted a surface-to-air missile launched from Syria that was headed toward Israeli fighter jets returning from an operation over Syria.