First test of Arrow 3 missile defense 'due soon'

Israel Aerospace Industries says system set for groundbreaking test; Arrow 3 designed to intercept Iranian missiles.

Arrow missile defense system launch 390 (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
Arrow missile defense system launch 390
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
A groundbreaking test of Israel's most advanced missile defense shield, the Arrow 3, will take place "soon," Itzhak Kaya, who heads the Arrow project for the Israel Aerospace Industries, said Thursday.
The Arrow 3 is designed to intercept Iranian Shihab and Sejil missiles above the atmosphere in space, by directly striking and destroying incoming projectiles.
The Arrow 2 system, which is operational, creates a layer of security lower down, within the atmosphere, where it is built to intercept long-range ballistic missiles by exploding near them.
Kaya, who spoke at a military technology conference at Airport City, near Ben Gurion International Airport, said previous recent tests of the US-funded Arrow 3's components have reaffirmed the system's reliability.
The tests until now did not involve actual interceptions, but rather, simulated missile attacks to test the Arrow’s detection capabilities.
The new Arrow 3 system comes with the advanced Green Pine radar system, which is designed to deal with future missile threats, Kaya said.
"A successful identification of the attacking missiles by the Arrow system increases the chances and certainty of an interception," Kaya said.
Describing the Arrow 3 as one of most important defense platforms in Israel today, Kaya added that the system could also be sold to other countries in the future.