Israel successfully tested its new Arrow missile defense system Monday, the Defense Ministry announced in a tweet, the accomplishment capping a program that’s seen a series of delays and cancellations.
The test was carried out in cooperation with the United States’ Missile Defense Agency.
“A short while ago, the Defense Ministry and American MDA carried out a planned flight test of its Arrow weapons system, with an Arrow 3 interceptor,” the Defense Ministry tweeted. “The Arrow 3 interceptor was launched and carried out its mission.”
The test came after several aborted attempts in recent months. In January, an exercise was called off because of a communication glitch that resulted in a data transfer problem. In December, a test was canceled after safety concerns arose when the Anchor-type target missile -- which was fired from a jet -- experienced a malfunction.
"The experiment we conducted today was very complex," Boaz Levy, Deputy CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries and manager of its Systems, Missiles & Space Group, said in a statement. "In the experiment, the interceptor simulated a full military scenario and the rocket did the route in full. And, if it had a real target, would have hit it. We are very pleased with the result.”
Israel Aerospace Industries worked together with Boeing to develop the Arrow-3.
Moshe Patel, the director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, said in a statement that a more advanced test is scheduled in Alaska later this year.
“The Arrow-3 is designed for long-range threats, as well as unconventional threats,” said Patel, appearing to hint at Iran’s ballistic capabilities. “We are aiming for 100 percent success rate.”
The Arrow 3 is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world and has been in development for nearly a decade, starting in 2008. It was handed over to the Israeli Air force in January 2017.
In March 2017, Israel used the Arrow-2 system for the first time, intercepting a surface-to-air missile launched from Syria toward Israeli fighter jets returning from an operation over Syria.