The Defense Ministry
on Friday conducted an experimental test of its rocket propulsion system from a military base located in the center of the country.
Images shared on social media showed a projectile streaking through the sky. The launch was planned in advance and carried out as planned. According to reports, Ben-Gurion International Airport diverted air traffic during the test to allow for the system to be fired safely.
There was no comment on whether or not the test was successful nor what system was tested but some speculated that it may be the surface-to-surface Jericho system, an intercontinental ballistic missile which according to foreign reports can support a nuclear payload.
The system was reportedly tested in December
According to those reports, Israel has had the Jericho in its arsenal for decades, with the most recent Jericho-3 entering service in 2011. Israel is reported to be working on the Jericho-4.
With a multi-layered aerial defense - which includes the Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling - missile system tests such as these are not uncommon. Rocket propulsion systems are designed to launch large systems such as satellites, ballistic missiles and large ground to air missiles.
Israel’s air defenses currently include: the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets; and the Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles and medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300 km.