Israel has field-tested the Arrow 3 interceptor, its new anti-ballistic, long-range air defense system, UPI.com reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the Arrow 3 shot down a mock enemy ballistic missile in a trial flight.
The Arrow 3 is expected to be able to intercept ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction at more than 100 kilometers above the earth’s surface – beyond the boundary between earth's atmosphere and outer space.
Israel’s Defense Ministry and the United States Department of Defense signed a deal last July to develop the Arrow 3 missile system together. The U.S. has supported Israel’s development of the Arrow system for more than two decades.
Arrow 3’s program head Yoav Turgeman was quoted by UPI.com as having said that the system is to be deployed in 2015. He added that it is intended to provide the topmost level of protection in a planned framework for countering various rocket and missile threats to Israel from any direction.
The Arrow 3’s predecessor, the Arrow 2, has been deployed over the past decade in multiple defense units under the operational command of the Israeli air force at a military facility north of Tel Aviv.
Israel and the U.S. conducted a successful joint test of the Arrow system off of the U.S.’s west coast in February.
During the test, the Arrow was launched from an American test site on the West Coast, and the target - which simulates a threat that Israel may have to face in battle - was launched toward the shore from a platform in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
The new Arrow 3 system will participate in another joint U.S.-Israeli exercise scheduled for January, UPI.com said. The “Juniper Cobra” exercise, which is held every two years, will incorporate every element of Israel’s missile and air defenses, including the Arrow 2 and 3, but also Iron Dome and Magic Wand.
According to the report, Iran factored high in Israel’s decision to develop the Arrow 3 system as an answer to threats of aerial assaults.
Last month, Iran tested a new radar system in hopes of warning Israel and the United States against any military attack.
The test of the Ghadir radar system was conducted on the third day of Iran’s annual “Great Prophet” 10-day military exercise. Iran claimed the system can “detect airborne targets, radar-evading planes, cruise and ballistic missiles and low-orbit satellites.”
The Islamic Republic also test-fired surface-to-surface missiles with a maximum range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), emphasizing it could hit Israel or U.S. targets in the region in the event of attack.