Israel successfully tests missile defense systems
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Israel successfully tests missile defense systems

Defense ministry says tests on Iron Dome, Magic Wand, and Arrow 3 designed to 'counter emerging threats in the region'

A missile is launched from Palmachim air base in central Israel on July 4, 2018. (Defense Ministry)
A missile is launched from Palmachim air base in central Israel on July 4, 2018. (Defense Ministry)

The Defense Ministry on Thursday said Israel’s missile defense systems had successfully completed a series of tests designed to “counter emerging threats in the region.”

In a statement, the ministry said the tests were carried out by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in conjunction with the army and defense firms Israel Aerospace Industries and mPrest Systems.

“Within the framework of the tests, various types of threats were launched, which simulate the developing threats in the region,” the Defense Ministry said. “The Homa [missile defense] directorate will continue to develop the Iron Dome system to “counter the emerging threats in the region.”

The statement said the short-range Iron Dome, medium-range Magic Wand, and long-range Arrow 3 systems were tested this week at the Palmachim air base, south of Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday residents in the area of the base, located south of Tel Aviv, heard the launch of a missile, which left a smoke trail that could be seen for miles.

The ministry did not say what type of missile was fired, and said it would reveal the details at a later date.

In May, the Defense Ministry said it was postponing a planned live-fire test of the Arrow 3 in Alaska to ensure “maximum readiness” of the battery.

The Arrow 3 system was first tested successfully in February, after months of delays and technical problems. In January, an exercise was called off because of a data transfer problem and in December a test was canceled over safety concerns.

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

Following a barrage of mortar and rocket fire from Gaza last month, the IDF deployed additional Iron Dome batteries in southern Israel, warning local residents of a possible fresh round of violence with Hamas.

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