Israel Knocks Out Simulated Iranian Missile Using Arrow-3 Interceptor

Arrow-3 test - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
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The Arrow-3 is one of several missile and drone defence systems in Israel’s arsenal, and is meant to counter threats including long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. Unlike the Iron Dome air defence system – which has seen plenty of testing against simple Hamas rockets, the Arrow-3’s capabilities have yet to be proven in a real-life conflict.
The Israeli military completed a test of the Arrow-3 air defence system on Tuesday, simulating the interception of an advanced ballistic missile like those being developed by Iran, The Jerusalem Post reports, citing the defence ministry.
The test, carried out by the MoD, the Israeli Air Force, Israel Aerospace Industries and the US Missile Defence Agency, took place in central Israel.
The drill involved a scenario under which the Arrow-3’s integrated radar arrays detected an enemy exo-atmospheric target, with this information transferred to the battle management control system for analysis, after which two interceptors were launched at two different trajectories to intercept and destroy the enemy missiles by slamming into it at high speed deep in space. The test was successful, according to the IDF.
“The success of this test is an important milestone for Israel’s operational capability to defend itself against existing and evolving threats in the region,” the MoD said in a statement.
Israel Aerospace Industries CEO Boaz Levy indicated that the “essential information” gathered during the “challenging scenario” would “be used by the defence establishment and the company’s engineers for the development of future technology.”
The test of the Arrow-3 “proved once again that Israel holds one of the world’s most advanced defence systems against ballistic missiles,” Levy boasted.
MoD Missile Defence Organization chief Moshe Patel indicated that the system received a number of upgrades before the test.
“We have made a breakthrough in every part of the system, in the detection arrays, in the launches, even in the interceptors themselves, so that they match the threats that are expected in the region. There were highly, highly significant technological breakthroughs here that were assessed and can be used by the Air Force in its operational systems immediately,” Patel said, without elaborating.
‘Preemptive Defence’
Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised the test and suggested that Israel’s air defence systems provide the country “the freedom to maneuver strategically” and preemptively.
“We are preserving Israel’s ability to defend itself against developing threats in the region and allowing Israel offensive freedom of operation against its enemies, from an understanding that the best defence allows for the most effective attack,” he said.
Prior to Tuesday’s test, the Arrow-3 was last tested in Alaska in 2019. Tuesday’s drill reportedly took place after multiple delays blamed on poor weather, with airspace over central Israel closed to commercial flights at least twice over the past week, according to The Times of Israel.
Built by Israel Aerospace Industries in coordination with Elbit Systems, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Boeing, the Arrow-3’s development was jointly funded by Israel and the US, and is the Jewish State’s current-gen exo-atmospheric anti-ballistic missile.
Israel announced last year that work had begun on the development of a next-gen system, the Arrow-4. Like its predecessor, the new system is being created in coordination between Israeli and US militaries and their respective arms contractors, with America providing a chunk of the funding.
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Work on the Arrow series of interceptors began in the 1990s, with the Arrow-1 technology demonstrator created at the end of the decade and eventually deployed as the Arrow-2. Along with the Arrow line of anti-missile missiles, Israeli defence companies have also developed the David’s Sling, an anti-rocket and cruise missile defence system, and the Iron Dome, a rocket and mortar defence system.
Since its deployment in the early 2010s, the Iron Dome has been used extensively in Israel’s battles against Palestinian and Lebanese militias armed mostly with small rockets and drones. The Iron Dome has proven effective against individually launched missiles and small barrages, but military experts have expressed concerns about the potential for them to be overwhelmed by enemy swarm launches of hundreds or even thousands of drones and missiles. Earlier this month, former Israeli deputy national security advisor Chuck Freilich warned Tel Aviv not to overestimate its capabilities when it comes to launching a potential preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear sites, warning that Hezbollah alone has up to 150,000 rockets, and that the Islamic Republic has ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as drones, which could hit Israel in the event of a conflict.
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