The U.S. and Israel successfully finished a flight test campaign for the Arrow-3 missile defense interceptor in which it defeated several target missiles in the past month, the U.S. and Israeli governments said July 28.
This campaign, called Flight Test Arrow-01, demonstrated the Arrow Weapon System’s ability to affect a high altitude hit-to-kill engagement. In these tests, interceptors destroyed target missiles at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, in Kodiak, Alaska.
During the test, the Arrow-3 demonstrated an engagement capability against an exo-atmospheric target. The test also used a U.S. AN-TPY2 radar, even though that is not part of the Israeli missile defense architecture.
The tests were jointly conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) within the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D).
MDA said a preliminary analysis said the test objectives were achieved.
The Arrow-3 is designed to intercept medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) outside the atmosphere and counter missile threats from Iran and others.
“These successful tests mark a major milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System,” MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said in a statement.
“This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region. My congratulations to the Israel Missile Defense Organization, our MDA team, and our industry partners. We are committed to assisting the Government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats,” Hill added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed further details about missile defense tests when opening a weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
He said the tests occurred “in recent weeks” and consisted of three Arrow-3 interception tests.
“They were successful beyond any imagination…The execution was perfect – all precise hits. Today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles that could be launched against us from Iran or anywhere else,” Netanyahu said.
In a separate statement, Moshe Patel, director of the IMDO, noted the successful test campaign was the culmination of 10 years of development.
“This is an extraordinary operational and technological achievement for the State of Israel, made possible by thousands of employees, engineers and officers from the Ministry of Defense, Israeli defense Industries, Israeli Air Force and our US partners. In addition, the fact that the tests were conducted in Alaska, tens of thousands of kilometers away from Israel, is another significant achievement that demonstrates the operational capabilities of the Arrow 3 system to successfully face any threat,” Patel said in a statement.
The Arrow-3 was developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the Arrow prime contractor. Boeing [BA] is the American industry partner working to co-develop and co-produce the interceptor.
The U.S. and Israel last conducted an Arrow-3 intercept test in January in a test site in central Israel (Defense Daily, Jan. Jan. 22).
Israel received the first Arrow-3 interceptors in 2017 (Defense Daily, Jan. 19, 2017).