Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the Arrow-3 shield tests give his country the ability to act against ballistic missiles fired from Iran and from any other location.
The Arrow-3 Interceptor missile achieved a "major milestone" in its development during a successful flight test where the system effectively intercepted a missile target outside the atmosphere, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said in a statement.
The defense system is based on four operational layers: Iron Dome Defense System, David's Sling Weapon System, the Arrow-2, and the Arrow-3. This is an extraordinary operational and technological achievement for the State of Israel, made possible by thousands of employees, engineers and officers from the Ministry of Defense, Israeli defense Industries, Israeli Air Force and our USA partners.
The Arrow Weapon System is a central part of Israel's multi-layer defense system.
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The Arrow 3 is created to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere.
The successful tests were conducted by the Defense Ministry's Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency, with assistance from the Israeli Air Force and Israeli Aerospace Industries, which manufactures the Arrow 3.
"We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability to defend the state of Israel and deployed USA forces from emerging threats", Vice Admiral John Hill, director of the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency, said in a statement.
The weapon system successfully demonstrated hit-to-kill interceptions of ballistic targets in space, according to the ministry, which added that the operation was conducted in Alaska in order to test capabilities that can not be tested in Israel.
Netanyahu showed a video of the successful test to the cabinet, and noted that the explosion that destroyed the target missile did not happen near it, but rather "metal hit metal". With its earlier generation system, Arrow 2, Arrow 3 complements the Iron Dome and David's Sling, which are created to deal with short-range and mid-range missiles respectively. In January, an exercise was called off because of a data transfer problem and in December a test was canceled over safety concerns.