The Israel Defense Forces carried out a successful test of the Arrow anti-missile system on Thursday in a secret location in the center of the country, the army said.
The Arrow batteries intercepted a ballistic test missile and destroyed it in what experts described as the most complicated interception test carried out by the military so far.
Around 10:30 a.m. Israel time, the Arrow system was activated to intercept a long range ballistic test missile of sophisticated maneuvering capabilities. The test missile was intercepted and destroyed.
The army said preparations for the complicated maneuver had been going on for a long time, refuting any connection between Iran’s nuclear activity and the Arrow test.
Security officials told Ynet that Israel can never be content with the Arrow system which is constantly being upgraded to have better interception capabilities.
“We are in a continuous process of developing the (Arrow) system in line with the developments in our region,” a senior official said.
“We have the Iranian threat but
also the Syrian threat, with the country possessing Scud missiles of the improved D range, and this obligates us to constantly improve the system,” the official added.
The Patriot system was also activated during the test to provide acquisition data on the test missile and also to be activated if the Arrow fails to intercept and destroy its target.
How does the Arrow work?
Thursday’s test of the advanced Arrow 3 ‘Block’ system is the fourteenth carried out by the IDF so far. An Israel Air Force fighter jet launched the test missile prompting the automatic activation of the Arrow 2 and Patriot interception systems.
The Green Pine radar intercepted the test missile and alerted the operation room which engaged in calculations to intercept and destroy the target.
The Arrow batteries intercepted the test missile and fired an interception missile which identified and destroyed the target through electro-optic sensors.
The successful test clears the way for the military industries to procure the IDF with Arrow 3 batteries in the first quarter of 2006.
The ‘Block’, a complex computerized system described as “the brain” of the Arrow, is constantly upgraded to improve its interception capabilities.
Ministry of Defense Director General Yaakov Toren praised the successful test saying “the Ministry of Defense, the military industries, and the Israel Defense Forces proved yet another time their technological contribution to the national security of Israel.”
The Arrow project saw light in 1998 and has so far cost the State USD 2.4 billion.