Arrow defense system successfully shoots down incoming rocket made to look like Iranian ballistic missile.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The Ministry of Defense Thursday said it conducted a successful test of the Arrow 2 defense system, shooting down a missile made to look like an Iranian ballistic missile.
The Arrow 2 interceptor missile was fired in the middle of the night from a base in the center of the country and successfully shot down an incoming missile that was simulating an Iranian Shihab-3 surface-to-surface missile.
The Shihab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile that uses North Korean technology that could be capable of delivering nuclear warheads.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the teams behind the missile test and added his thanks to the United States, which has been a partner in the joint defense project.
“We have proven again that the State of Israel possesses defensive and offensive capabilities that are among the strongest and most advanced in the world,” Netanyahu said. “I would like to express deep appreciation to our U.S. ally for jointly advancing our security.”
“Our enemies and those who seek our ill should know the State of Israel is prepared for any threat,” Netanyahu said.
Moshe Fattal, head of the missile defense project at the Ministry of Defense, said the test was performed to simulate a “future threat” that the Arrow 2 system had been upgraded to deal with.
Fattal said long-range ballistic missiles targeting Israel would normally be intercepted by the Arrow 3 system that knocks down missiles while they are still in space outside the atmosphere.
“We want Arrow 2 to give another option for interception. There is great importance in this experiment,” Fattal said. “We need to address non-conventional missiles as well.”
Israel has successfully tested the Arrow 3 system, also meant to protect Israel from intercontinental ballistic missiles – especially those being developed by Iran.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States has been funding the Arrow program since 2008. Its contributions have risen from $20 million in 2008 to $253 in 2018, totaling about a billion dollars thus far.
Boeing is a partner in the Arrow project, which is under joint development by Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.