After delays, Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 long-range missile interceptor
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After delays, Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 long-range missile interceptor

Early morning exercise carried out with US agency after two tests called off at last minute in recent months

Illustrative: The Arrow 3 missile is launched from Palmachim air base in central Israel on December 10, 2015. (Defense Ministry)
Illustrative: The Arrow 3 missile is launched from Palmachim air base in central Israel on December 10, 2015. (Defense Ministry)

Israel carried out a successful test of its long-range Arrow 3 missile defense system early Monday morning, months after two tests were called off at the last minute.

The test was carried out together with the US Missile Defense Agency, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.

“A short while ago, the Defense Ministry and American MDA carried out a planned flight test of its Arrow weapons system, with an Arrow 3 interceptor,” the Defense Ministry said in a tweet early Monday.

“The Arrow 3 interceptor was launched and carried out its mission,” the ministry added in a subsequent tweet, implying the test had been successful.

The test came after several aborted attempts in recent months. In January, an exercise was called off because of a data transfer problem and in December a test was canceled over safety concerns.

The Arrow 3 missile defense system that was delivered to the Israeli Air Force on January 18, 2017. (Defense Ministry)

Complemented by a number of other missile defense systems designed to protect Israel from short-, medium- and long-range attacks, the Arrow 3 system, which was declared operational last January, represents the highest level of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense network.

The system, which was developed in a joint Israeli-American program, is designed to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, taking out projectiles and their nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional warheads closer to their launch sites. It is a more advanced version of the Arrow and Arrow 2 systems.

The Arrow 3 is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world and has been in development for nearly a decade, starting in 2008.

It was delivered to the Israeli Air Force in January 2017.

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