Joint U.S.-Israel Arrow 3 Defense System Test Successful


An Arrow 2 launch

— by Jacob Miller

On Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Defense carried out its first successful test of the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow 3 missile defense system. During the test, as reported by Israel Hayom, it “left the Americans speechless.” The Arrow 3 will become integrated with the current shorter-range Iron Dome system as well as David’s Sling to create a multi-layered missile defense shield that will be capable of shooting down a variety of long and short range rockets.

The Jerusalem Post summarized the test:

The Ministry of Defense carried out its first successful test of the Arrow 3 missile defense interceptor on Monday morning, firing it into space from a coastal military launching pad in central Israel.

More after the jump.

Set to become operational in around 2016, the Arrow 3 missile defense system operates in space, traveling at twice the speed of a tank shell to leave the atmosphere. It is designed to seek and destroy Iranian Shihab 3 missiles, as well as other long-range projectiles.

A senior defense source said the interceptor took off at around 8 a.m. on Monday morning over the Mediterranean Sea. “It obtained hypersonic speed, and reached an altitude of 100 kilometers, entering space. It followed various objects, such as stars, and gained further altitude. Its engine stopped after six minutes,” the source said.

The test was led by technicians from the Israel Aerospace Industries, together with a team from the US Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency. The effort is being coordinated by the Ministry of Defense’s Israel Missile Defense Organization.

“The Israeli and American teams congratulated one another warmly,” the source said.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated those involved in the test, saying, “This is an important milestone for the state of Israel’s multi-layered defense system, which includes Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3.” […]

US funding assistance is crucial for the development of the project.

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