Israel successfully conducted a test of the Arrow-3 ballistic missile defense system on Jan. 22, the U.S. and Israel said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) worked with the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of the Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) at the Israeli Ministry of Defense to perform the test.

The Israel Missile Defense Organization and U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a test intercept of the Arrow-3 Weapon System in January 2019. (Photo: U.S. Missile Defense Agency)

The test occurred at a test site in central Israel. After the MRBM target was launched, Arrow Weapons System radars detected it, then transferred data to the Battle Management Control, which established a defense plan, then an interceptor was launched and “successfully completed its mission” intercepting the target.

The Arrow-3 was developed jointly by Israel and the U.S. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the overall Arrow program prime contractor while American industry partner Boeing [BA] is co-developing and co-producing the interceptor. The system is meant to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) outside the atmosphere. It specifically aims to counter missile threats from an adversary like Iran.

Israel said the test was led by IAI in collaboration with the Israeli Air Force.

The Israeli government said in a statement that this test was a “major milestone” in its operational capabilities and ability to defense itself.

“This successful test provides confidence in Israel’s capability to protect itself from existing threats in the region,” MDA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves said in a statement.

“My congratulations to the Israel Missile Defense Organization, the Israeli Air Force, our MDA team, and our industry partners.  We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats,” he added.

Israel and the U.S. previously successfully completed a non-intercept flight test of the Arrow-3 system nearly a year ago (Defense Daily, Feb. 20, 2018).

Israel also has three other major missile and rocket defense programs: Arrow-2 to defeat theater ballistic missiles, Rafael’s David’s Sling system for terminal-phase defense against tactical ballistic missiles, medium to long-range rockets, planes, cruise missiles, and drones; and the Rafael and IAI Iron Dome for shorter range rockets and artillery shells.

The Arrow-3 interceptor uses a hit-to-kill warhead while Arrow-2 uses a blast-fragmentation warhead.

Israel received its first Arrow-3 interceptors in early 2017 (Defense Daily, Jan. 19, 2017).