Israel cancels US-based test of its Arrow-3 missile defense system until ‘maximum readiness’ ensured
“Following consultation between the American Missile Defense Agency and the Israeli Defense Ministry, it was decided to postpone the test of the Arrow-3 system in Alaska — this is in order to reach maximum preparedness ahead of the test in the American [airfield],” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry then said that it was working with its US partners to set another date for the test but did not reveal any details about a future schedule.
The military emphasized that the test delay would by no means affect the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems that are already operational and are currently used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Developed jointly by Israeli Aerospace Industries and Boeing, the Arrow-3 system passed its first test over the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 and has been in service in Israel since 2017.
The missile defense system is said to be capable of intercepting ballistic missiles in space at an altitude that would allow it to safely destroy any non-conventional warheads. It also reportedly has a flight range of up to 2,400 kilometers.
Arrow-3 is designed to be the top tier of the Israeli missile defense shield. Other layers of the integrated missile defense systems complex include the already operational short-range Iron Dome interceptor and a mid-range system called David’s Sling, which is expected to enter service next year.
However, Israel seems to have experienced some problems with the Arrow-3 testing. Its first trial, which was initially scheduled for 2014, was interrupted because of what was described as a faulty flight of the target missile.
The tests, which were expected to be held in December 2017 and January 2018, were also both cancelled on short notice due to some technical problems, Haaretz reports. According to the Times of Israel, some data transfer problems prompted the military to call off the January test, while the December one was cancelled over safety concerns. A successful Arrow-3 test was eventually conducted in February.
The US-based test was scheduled to take place in summer 2018, in Alaska. According to the Israeli media, it was aimed at testing the missile defense system’s capabilities at longer interception distances.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!