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January 18, 2022 2:42 pm
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Israel, US ‘Successfully’ Test Arrow-3 System to Intercept Ballistic Missiles Outside Earth’s Atmosphere

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avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli and American missile defense agencies test the Arrow-3 weapon system on Jan. 18, 2021. Photo: Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office

Israeli and American missile defense agencies completed a “successful” flight test on Tuesday of the Arrow-3 weapon system, which was built to intercept ballistic missiles outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

The Arrow Weapon System (AWS), jointly developed by Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency, comprises the top layer of Israel’s multi-tier aerial defenses, above the Iron Dome and David’s Sling.

“For the first time, two interceptors were fired at the same target,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday, who called the experiment “successful and unprecedented.”

The trial, which took place in central Israel, was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and included the AWS and Arrow 3 interceptor. During the test, “AWS operational radars array detected the target and transferred data to the battle management control (BMC), which analyzed the data,” set a defense plan, and launched two interceptors that successfully destroyed the target, the Defense Ministry stated.

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“Throughout the flight test, the system was tested against ‘future threats’, in a challenging scenario, while gathering essential information that will be used by the defense establishment and the company’s engineers for the development of future technologies,” said IAI CEO Boaz Levy.

MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said the AWS “performed beautifully” during the test, and that the data collected will guide the system’s continued development.

Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Dani Gold, who heads Israel’s Directorate for Defense Research and Development, said the “groundbreaking” flight test marked a “significant leap forward” in the military’s capabilities to defend itself in the face of emerging regional threats and to adapt to the future battlefield.

Israel designed the AWS to potentially defend against ballistic missiles fired from Iran, whose leaders routinely pledge to destroy the Jewish state, as well as other regional threats.

“We have a common foe in the region and that’s Iran,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the World Economic Forum virtual conference in Davos on Tuesday. “Iran is an octopus of terror and instability. Their head is in Tehran and they send their arms all across the Middle East and get involved in Lebanon with Hezbollah, in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen with the Houthis.”

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