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The Mideast

Israel, US successfully test anti-missile system in joint exercise

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Nov. 16, 2012: An Israeli Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket to counter an Hamas strike in the southern city of Ashdod. (Reuters)

Israel's Defense Ministry says a joint exercise with U.S. forces has successfully tested the Arrow anti-missile system for the first time. The system is meant to defend Israel from the threat of an Iranian strike.

The ministry said Monday the test was "a major milestone in the development of the Arrow 3 Weapon System."

The Arrow is produced jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. and Chicago-based Boeing Co.

It detects an incoming missile and destroys it with a second missile. Iran's Shahab ballistic missile can carry a nuclear warhead and has a range of 1,250 miles, putting Israel well within range.

The Arrow is part of Israel's multilayered shield designed to intercept rockets and missiles. Israel sees Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program as an existential threat.