Israel conducted a successful test of the Arrow 2 ballistic missile defense system off the coast of California early on Tuesday morning, when it destroyed a target simulating an Iranian ballistic missile.

It was the 18th test of the Arrow, and the second in which the modified Arrow 2 was tested in its entirety, along with the Green Pine radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries.

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The test was conducted jointly by the IAF, the Defense Ministry’s Homa Missile Defense Agency and the US Missile Defense Agency. The Arrow is a project developed in cooperation by the IAI and Boeing.

The Arrow interceptor was launched at around 10:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time from a US Navy base along the California coast and intercepted a missile fired from a nearby navy vessel. Defense officials said the “enemy” missile impersonated a “future threat that Israel could one day face in the region.”

Defense officials lauded the successful launch as another indication of Israel’s defense capabilities in the face of Iran’s continued quest for a nuclear weapon. They said that the Arrow system could protect Israel from all of the missiles in Iran’s arsenal.

The Green Pine Radar – an integral part of the Arrow missile defense system – detected the enemy missile and, after identifying it, related the information to the Arrow battery, which launched the missile interceptor.

Arieh Herzog, head of the Homa Missile Defense Agency, said the Arrow system worked as designed and completely destroyed the target.

The interceptor used in the test incorporated new software that will now be installed in all of the Arrow interceptors currently in IAF use.

“This test is important for Israel as it prepares to counter the ballistic missile threat in the region,” Herzog said. “This test proves the success of the system after it underwent new upgrades.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the test was an important milestone in the Israel’s development of missile defense systems. Last week, the IAF successfully tested the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system ahead of its planned deployment in southern Israel.

The US Missile Defense Agency released a statement saying that the success provided confidence in Israel’s operational capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.

Israel and the US are also jointly moving forward with the development of Arrow 3, which will be called Reshef (Flash) in Hebrew. The first flyout test of the Arrow 3 is scheduled for later this year and the system is expected to become operational in 2015.

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