Israel successfully carries out Arrow-2 interception test

Test simulated the interception of a long-range missile attack

A flight test of the Arrow-2 Weapons System. (Courtesy: Defense Ministry)
A test of the Arrow 2 interceptor system, part of the Arrow Weapon System, was successfully carried out Wednesday night along with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Defense Ministry said Thursday.
The advanced system is designed to intercept long-range missiles. It successfully intercepted a Sparrow simulated long-range, surface-to-surface missile, which could one day be fired at Israel by Iran, such as the Shahab 3 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) with an explosive warhead.
“The target simulated what our main enemy would fire,” said Moshe Patel, head of the Defense Ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO).
The test was conducted at 11:45 p.m. at a test site in central Israel. It was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), IMDO, the US MDA and the IAF.
The interception was conducted by IAF service members together with engineers from the institutions involved in the system’s development. The various layers of Israel’s air-defense mechanism were employed in this test to ensure their readiness and efficacy in operational scenarios.
“The test was just perfect; all the systems worked as anticipated,” Boaz Levi, IAI’s executive vice president and general manager of Systems, Missiles and Space Group, told reporters.
The radar locked in on the target, which had been launched from the West, and followed it the entire time before it was intercepted and completely destroyed – exactly when it had been planned.
According to Levy, the test simulated an incoming missile that represented a threat between the capabilities of Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems. While he did not specify the altitude at which the target was intercepted, he said it came in at the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere.
During the test, the updated capabilities of the Arrow system were validated, the Defense Ministry said.
“We have once again proven that the State of Israel has the strongest and most advanced defense and attack capabilities in the world,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“I would like to express our deep appreciation to our US ally for the mutual advancement of our security,” he said. “Our enemies and those who seek our evil know that the State of Israel is prepared against any threat.”

A flight test of the Arrow-2 Weapons System. (Credit: Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “Israel must face challenges both near and far, and our elite technological unit led by the MAFAT, IAI and additional defense industries ensures that we will always be one step ahead of our enemies and that we will defend Israeli skies from any threat.”
During the test, the target was fired toward Israel “from a significant distance” and intercepted successfully, Patel told reporters.
WHILE THE main country from which such long-range threats might originate is Iran, they can also come from Iraq and Syria. The system can also contend with threats from there, Patel said.
Precision missiles, as well as nonconventional weapons such as nuclear weapons, are a growing and serious threat, and both the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems are capable of intercepting missiles with nuclear warheads, he said.
“This is what we are working for, and we have had those capabilities from day one,” he added.
The system interceptor, its radar and command and control systems have all been upgraded over the years, Patel said.
The test came 20 years after the system entered operational use in the IAF. Five major upgrades have been made over the years to contend with threats Israel might face in the future.
“The age of the soldiers is close to the age of the system itself,” Levi said.
The first use of the Arrow 2 interceptor system occurred in April 2017 when it was launched to intercept three surface-to-air missiles fired toward IAF jets by Syrian-regime air defense.
The Arrow 2 is one of the programs jointly carried out by Israel and the US and was co-managed by the US MDA and the IMDO.
“The joint Israeli-American test reflects the partnership and friendship between the two countries, as well as the deep commitment of the United States to the safety of the citizens of Israel,” the Defense Ministry said. “We will continue to work together to strengthen the capabilities of the defense establishment in the air, land and sea, as well as in cyberspace.”
The successful interception test comes after a series of additional tests, including the Arrow 3 test conducted by the IMDO and the US MDA last year in Alaska.
“Both systems demonstrated advanced operational capabilities,” the Defense Ministry said. “The integration of both systems in Israel’s air-defense mechanism significantly expands and enhances the state’s capability to defend against current and future threats.”
The Arrow 2 forms a key layer of Israel’s multilayered defense system along with the Arrow 3, David’s Sling and Iron Dome. The systems provide Israel with a protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short- and mid-range missiles used by terrorist groups in Gaza and Hezbollah, as well as the threat posed by long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.

Tags IDF missiles