The Israeli Ministry of Defense has confirmed a recent test of an Arrow missile defense interceptor, partly manufactured by Boeing and developed in cooperation with the US Missile Defense Organization.
Tel Aviv issued a statement on Wednesday, confirming that the secretive airspace closures the day before were indeed a “pre-planned flight test” of the Arrow weapons system. The Israeli MOD added that an Arrow 2 interceptor was used against a Sparrow target missile.
The joint Israeli-American test reflects the partnership & friendship between the two countries & the deep commitment of the U.S. to the safety of the citizens of Israel. We will continue to work together to strengthen the capabilities of the defense establishment on all fronts.
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) August 12, 2020
The Arrow series of missile defense interceptors has been in Israeli service for decades, however, with Arrow 3 the most recent iteration. The Arrow 2 is a tactical system with a 90-kilometer maximum range, first tested in 1995. Officially, it can detect targets at the range of 500 kilometers, and intercept them at altitudes ranging from 10 to 50 kilometers.
The US has contributed significant funding to the development of the Arrow missile defense systems, which explains the MDO presence. Many of the system’s components are manufactured by Boeing.
Two batteries of Arrow 2 have been in service with the Israeli Defense Forces since 2002.
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Israel has long argued that Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs represent an existential threat and require a military build-up. Tehran has maintained that its nuclear aspirations are purely civilian and the ballistic missiles serve to deter foreign aggression.
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