WASHINGTON — Arrow-3 missiles successfully took out target missiles in high-altitude, hit-to-kill test engagements conducted at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska in Kodiak.
The tests were a joint effort between the Israel Missile Defense Organization of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing co-developed Arrow. The Arrow system became operational in 2017 and has been deployed to counter Syrian missiles.
The Arrow weapon system, which intercepts missiles outside of the atmosphere, is part of Israel’s layered defense system that includes Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow-2 systems. The multi-layered system is meant to defend against short- and mid-range rockets coming from from Gaza and Lebanon.
“The Arrow-3 interceptor successfully demonstrated an engagement capability against the exo-atmospheric target during the test,” according to a July 28 MDA statement. “Preliminary analysis indicates that test objectives were successfully achieved.”
MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said, “These successful tests mark a major milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System. This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region.
Hill reaffirmed the U.S commitment to helping the Israel government to upgrade its national missile defense capability to defend against emerging threats.
A Raytheon-made AN-TPY2 radar participated in the test. It is not part of the Israeli missile defense architecture.
The tests mark a culmination of ten “challenging” years of development, the IMDO director, Moshe Patel, said in the statement.
“The fact that these tests were conducted in Alaska, tens of thousands of kilometers away from Israel, is another significant achievement that demonstrates the operational capabilities of the Arrow 3 system to successfully face any threat,” he said.
Israel announced in January that it had successfully tested Arrow-3 against long-range ballistic missile threats following previous tests aimed at verifying a variety of capabilities such as the missile’s ability to differentiate between decoys and threat targets.
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.