Israel Successfully Tests Arrow 3 Anti-ballistic Missile System

The Arrow 3 is considered the next generation of defense systems, capable of attacking targets at from great distances and heights at a much higher speed

An Arrow 3 test launch in 2015.
\ Ilan Assayag

Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 missile system Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said. The Arrow 3 is meant to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere.

The test was carried out at 6:44 A.M. in cooperation with the American Missile Defense Agency in central Israel, and was led by Israel Aerospace Industries with participation of the Israel Air Force.

Here's how the test was carried out: A target missile was launched. The radar identified the target and passed the data on to the control center. There the data was analyzed and a flight plan was programmed. When the program was complete, the Arrow 3 was launched toward the target and "completed its mission successfully."

The Arrow 3 is considered the next generation of defense systems, capable of attacking targets at from great distances and heights at a much higher speed. Today the Israeli army uses the Arrow 2, which has been operational for a few of years. It also uses an older version of the Arrow 3, given to the army in January 2017. The new system currently in testing will likely grant the army an ability to deal with more complex scenarios. 

Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 system for the first time about a year ago, yet they did not use a real target. This test is the first successful test, in which the Arrow 3 intercepted a target. 

The test comes a day after Israel attacked Iranian targets Sunday night in Syria hours after its Iron Dome system intercepted a missile launched from Syria following a strike on an airport south of Damascus on Sunday, which was attributed to Israel.

Russia's defense control center said that four Syrian soldiers were killed and six were wounded in the attack, adding that Syrian military air defenses destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during the air strikes.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 were killed in the strike, only two of whom were Syrian.

Following the strike, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Iranian forces carried out the missile attack toward Israel on Sunday, noting that the ground-to-ground missile was Iranian made.

The missile fire, Manelis said, was aimed toward the northern Golan Heights and civilian areas, with the intention of harming civilians. According to him, the fire was carried out by Iranian command and not by local militias.