Israel and the US will hold a joint test of the Arrow missile over the Pacific Ocean in what will be the first trial of the system with a target with a range of more than 1,000 kilometers, further than the test sites over the Mediterranean could allow.
According to a US defense official quoted by Reuters, the test, which will take place sometime in the coming days off the coast of central California, will be the third Arrow test conducted by Israel in the United States. He said the Federal Aviation Administration had warned aircraft to stay clear of the area.
The unnamed US official also said that although the test would be carried out under American auspices and would make use of the "sensor assets" of US missile systems, it was still mainly Israel's test.
Israel is "limited to the range of the missile they can test in the eastern Mediterranean. There's a safety issue," US Army Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, the director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, was quoted by Reuters as saying. "That's the primary purpose of them coming to the United States to use our test range."
O'Rielly added that the test would also afford "the opportunity to have the Patriot system, the THAAD system and the Aegis system all interacting with the Arrow system so that we're demonstrating full interoperability as we execute this test."