Netanyahu: Execution of Arrow 3 anti-missile 'perfect'

Netanyahu said that the execution was “perfect,” and Arrow 3’s hit on the target was a “bull's eye.”

By
July 28, 2019 21:24
2 minute read.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sitting next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the we

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sitting next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting. (photo credit: YANIR COZIN / MAARIV)

Israel has the ability to defend itself against ballistic missiles launched against it from anywhere in the world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, announcing the successful test of the Arrow 3 anti-missile defense system in Alaska.

“The Arrow 3 intercepted ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting that was attended by US Ambassador David Friedman. “The test succeeded beyond all imagination.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watching the Arrow 3 test at the weekly cabinet meeting (Credit: Yanir Cozin/Maariv)The prime minister said that the Arrow 3 intercepted ballistic missiles at unprecedented heights and speed, calling the execution “perfect,” and that Arrow 3’s hit on the target was a “bull’s eye.”

“Today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles launched against us from Iran or anywhere else,” Netanyahu said. “This is a tremendous achievement for Israel’s security. Let our enemies know that both on defense and on offense we can defeat them.”

The test explains Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer's mysterious visit to Alaska last week.

“Over the last few weeks, we have conducted three secret breakthrough tests on the Arrow 3,” Netanyahu said. “These tests were conducted in Alaska, with the full cooperation of our great ally, the United States.”

The Arrow 3 is an advanced system designed for intercepting long-range missiles in space at an altitude that would safely destroy any nuclear warheads. Netanyahu showed a video of the successful test to the cabinet, and noted that the explosion destroying the target missile was not near it, but rather was “metal on metal.”

In a clear reference to Iran, which last week tested a Shahab-3 missile that has the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead, Netanyahu said that this was a tremendous leap for Israel’s security “with very great significance, especially at this time.”

Friedman said that he was speaking for US President Donald Trump and the US administration in saying “how happy we are” at the successful results of the test, “which is a critical component of Israel’s defense against missiles.”

Calling the results “amazing,” Friedman added that the US was proud of its cooperation with Israel in the project, the funding it granted, the technological expertise it added, and that it provided the airspace above Alaska for the test.

“This is a wonderful and unprecedented example of the cooperation between our two countries,” Friedman said. “May we continue to conquer new heights to make the world a safer place.”

Blue and White head Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff, also weighed in on the successful test.

“I congratulate the defense establishment,” Gantz said on Sunday, calling the move “a clear signal to the Iranians and to the entire world that Israel is ready for any scenario against any aggression. The air defense capabilities we have developed... since the Gulf War have been, and will be, a central part of Israel’s security. These capabilities combine the technological superiority, creativity and international cooperation required to achieve our strategic goals.”

Danny Gold, head of research and development at the Defense Ministry, said three consecutive intercepts of long-range ballistic missiles at high altitudes and very far distances were unprecedented, and a technological, operational and logistical breakthrough.

Gold said the tests were a sign of unprecedented cooperation with the US, and noted that teams from both countries worked around the clock at the same site for a long period of time to ensure the tests’ success.



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