Jerusalem, Aug 13 (efe-epa).- Israel has carried out a successful test of an advanced missile defense system to intercept long-range ballistic attacks, the country’s defense ministry said on Thursday.
The test of the Arrow-2 Weapons System was carried out on Wednesday night by engaging a Sparrow target missile that simulated a long-range surface-to-surface missile.
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) conducted the joint test from the Palmachim Air Base in central Israel with the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
“Updated operational capabilities were validated,” the defense ministry tweeted.
“The joint Israeli-American test reflects the partnership and friendship between the two countries and the deep commitment of the US to the safety of the citizens of Israel,” the ministry said.
“We will continue to work together to strengthen the capabilities of the defense establishment on all fronts.”
Head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization Moshe Patel told reporters that during the test the target was intercepted successfully after it was fired towards Israel “at a significant distance”.
“The different layers of the Israeli air defense mechanism were activated to guarantee its preparation and effectiveness in operational scenarios.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the test was “perfect” and would guarantee Israel’s safety from missile attacks.
He said Israel must face challenges “both near and far”.
“Our elite technological unit ensures that we will always be one step ahead of our enemies, and that we will defend Israeli skies from any threat.”
The development of the Arrow weapons system, consisting of the Arrow, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptor missiles, is one of the key joint defense projects between the US and Israel.
It is a part of the multi-layered defense mechanism the two military allies have developed to intercept short- and mid-range rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon and Iran’s long-range missile attacks.
Israel and the US successfully tested Arrow-3 last year in Alaska that was declared operational in January 2017.
The Arrow 2 system has been upgraded five times over the last 20 years since it was first rolled out in March 2000, Patel said.
The latest joint test is another example of the country’s defense cooperation with the US, its main ally, with whom it works on several military projects in this area.
The Israeli Air Force operates the Arrow 2, and its advanced version, Arrow 3, the two main defense systems in its air defense apparatus. EFE-EPA