Israel tests ‘Arrow 3’ ballistic missile interceptor

Israel successfully test launches ‘Arrow 3’ ballistic missile interceptors near Ashdod

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An "Arrow 3" ballistic missile interceptor is seen during its test launch near Ashdod on December 10, 2015

Israel successfully tested its upgraded Arrow ballistic missile shield "Arrow 3" on Thursday near Ashdod.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said that the "Arrow 3" struck targets in space, stimulating an identical path as long-range weapons owned by Iran.

"The success of the ‘Arrow 3’ system today ... is an important step towards one of the most important projects for Israel and Israel Aerospace Industries [IAI] becoming operational," said Joseph Weiss, IAI's chief executive officer.

“Arrow 3” is among the Israeli missile defence system that receives extensive US funding. Also, the “Arrow 3” interceptors are designed to fly beyond the earth's atmosphere, where “their warheads detach to become 'kamikaze' satellites, or ‘kill vehicles,’ that track and slam into the targets.”

Officials from Boeing and Israel’s state owned IAI, along with several US officials were present for the test in Ashdod on Thursday. Earlier versions named “Arrow 2 and 1” were deployed over a decade ago, but did not have sufficient success percentages.

“Such high-altitude shoot-downs are meant to safely destroy incoming nuclear, biological or chemical missiles.” said the ministry’s statement.

The US’ own system for intercepting ballistic missiles in space is called Aegis, and a senior Israeli official played down any comparison with “Arrow 3.”

While it "might be true" that the allies were alone in having such proven capabilities, "Israel is not on the level of the US," Yair Ramati, head of the anti-missile system at the Defence Ministry, told reporters.

Ballistic missile interceptor is seen during its test launch near Ashdod December 10, 2015.

Israel’s regional rival Iran, tested its very own missile system in October, after sealing a long sought for historic nucealer deal with the world powers on July 14. Israel is the region’s biggest critic of the deal, saying it gives Iran further monetary and military power rather than thwarting any threat posed by it.

Iran successfully tested out a brand new precision-guided ballistic missile in October, in efforts to improve the accuracy of its missile arsenal, due to its apperent effectivness being compromised by poor accuracy.

Dubbed "Emad," Iran's first precision-guided weapon with a long-range.

Iranian media also claims that Emad’s purpose is to strike the Iranian regional rival, Israel.

Emad would have a range of 1,700 km (1,060 miles), 500 metres (1,650 feet) accuracy and a 750 kg (1,653 pound) payload, as written by Anthony Cordesman, a researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them...This greatly increases Iran's strategic deterrence capability," Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said at a televised news conference.

Emad is a variant of the liquid-fuelled Shahab-3 missile,which has been in use since 2003, however its accurecy is within 2,000 metres.

"Our leadership and armed forces are determined to increase our power and this is to promote peace and stability in the region. There is no intention of aggression or threats in this action," he added.

And in early November of this year, Russia and Iran signed a deal for Moscow to begin delivering S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Tehran, said Sergei Chemezov, the chief executive of Russia's state technologies corporation Rostec, quoted by the RIA news agency.

"The contract between Russia and Iran for delivery of S-300 missile systems is back in force," Rostec said in a statement, adding that the two sides had "signed a contract."

TRTWorld and agencies