JERUSALEM — Israel on Tuesday announced the successful testing of a rocket propulsion system that local media said was for ballistic missiles.

"The launch was carried out as part of tests planned by the defence ministry and occurred as planned," the ministry said in a message on Twitter, without elaborating.

Israeli business news website said the test took place at the Palmachim air base south of Tel Aviv.

It said the system was likely to be used for the Shavit rocket that Israel uses to launch satellites into space.

Shavit is based on the ballistic Jericho missile, which foreign military experts say Israel keeps several batteries of in the hills around Jerusalem, and can carry nuclear warheads.

Israel is the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power.

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