Israel and the United States successfully completed a test of Arrow 2 ballistic missile defense system Wednesday night, U.S. and Israeli defense officials said.
“The Arrow-2 interceptor successfully performed its planned trajectory and destroyed the target,” the Pentagon’s U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said in a statement.
The Arrow 2 successfully intercepted a long-range missile with an explosive warhead, like those made by Iran, said Boaz Levy, vice president and head of the Systems, Missiles and Space Group at Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures the system.
Watch: The Israel Missile Defense Organization & the U.S. MDA, together with IAI and the IAF, completed a flight test of the Arrow 2 system. It successfully engaged a Sparrow target missile. Updated operational capabilities were validated. pic.twitter.com/K3VU5IBtnm
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) August 13, 2020
The test, run by the Defense Ministry’s Missile Defense Organization, the Israeli Air Force, IAI, and the MDA, was carried out late Wednesday night from an air base in central Israel and targeted the missile high over the Mediterranean.
“MDA remains committed to assisting the government of Israel as it upgrades its national missile defense capability against current and emerging threats,” said the agency’s director, Vice Admiral Jon Hill.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said following the test, “Our elite technological unit ensures that we will always be one step ahead of our enemies.”
“We will defend Israeli skies from any threat,” Gantz said.
The head of Israel’s MDO Moshe Patel said the test was “perfect.”
The incoming projectile was first detected by the Arrow’s radar system and that the Arrow 2 interceptor missile was fired “at the exact moment” it was set for, totally destroying the target, Patel said.
Israel has developed one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world. The country is targeted by hundreds of thousands of projectiles from its northern and southern borders, originating in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and further away in Iran.
“I commend the defense establishment and the defense industries for another successful test of the Arrow-2 weapon system,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the test.
“We have proven again that the State of Israel possesses defensive and offensive capabilities that are among the strongest and most advanced in the world. I would like to express deep appreciation to our U.S. ally for jointly advancing our security. Our enemies and those who seek our ill should know the State of Israel is prepared for any threat.”