Israel and the USA have conducted a joint test of a new anti-missile system, in a move thought to be aimed at sending a message to Iran.
Israel’s Missile Defence Organization – a subsidiary of the country’s Defense Ministry – and the US Missile Defence Agency tested the Arrow 3 anti-missile system in the early hours of this morning.
The joint U.S.-Israel project is the highest layer of defense against ballistic missiles, including those that carry nuclear payloads.https://t.co/4zyxbEamoQ
— World Israel News (@worldisraelnews) January 22, 2019
Working with the Israeli Air Force and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) – the company which manufactures the Arrow 3 – a dummy missile was launched near the coastal Israeli city of Ashdod shortly before 06:45. The dummy was meant to simulate the type of long-range ballistic missiles the system is designed to intercept, the Times of Israel reported.
Israel’s Defence Ministry said in a statement that
“Following the launch [of the dummy missile], the Arrow’s radar spotted the target […] and transferred the data to its fire management center, which analyzed it and [then an] interceptor was fired at the target.”
— RTNews24 (@rtnews24en) January 22, 2019
The US’ agency also issued a statement, saying that:
This successful test provides confidence in Israel’s capability to protect itself from existing threats in the region […] We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability against emerging threats.
The US’ reference to “existing threats in the region” has led commentators to interpret the joint testing exercise as a not-so-subtle message to Iran, which Israel claims is working to develop long-range missiles of the type the Arrow 3 is designed to intercept.
US/Israel carry out joint missile defence test.
— WarTime (@NEWZWARZ) January 22, 2019
The Jerusalem Post placed the test in the context of “rising tension on Israel’s northern border with Syria,” no doubt referring to Israeli airstrikes carried out against what it claims are Iranian targets in Syria early yesterday morning.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)