Israel, US Successfully Test Hetz 3 Exoatmospheric Anti-Missile System

Spokesperson's officeA successful launch of the Arrow 3 system

Israel Aerospace Industries, in collaboration with the Israeli air force and the United States' Missile Defense Agency, conducted the test at 2:30 a.m. Monday at an unidentified site in central Israel, the U.S. Defense Department said in a release. Previously, in December, a test was canceled because safety concerns arose when the Anchor-type target missile - which was sacked from a jet - malfunctioned.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense confirmed the test, posting on Twitter that the exercise "designed to defend against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere".

The test came after several aborted attempts in recent months.

The Arrow 3 is the only interceptor that does not carry a warhead, but intercepts an incoming missile by crashing into it. And, if it had a real target, would have hit it. "We are focused on expansion and improvement of our missile defense system to shoot down missiles in the air", - said the American leader.

The Arrow was developed jointly by Israel and the United States, with Boeing, Elta, Elbit Systems, Israel Military Industries, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael all participating in development and manufacture.

All the systems have been tested in the field, and the Iron Dome and previous versions of the Arrow systems were used extensively, and with great success, during the 2014 Operation Defensive Edge campaign. Speaking to reporters, Moshe Patael, director of the Arrow 3 program, said that the successful test Monday would allow for further tests, with the next one scheduled to take place in Alaska later this year, as the test could not be conducted over a populated area.

It is part of the country's multi-layer defense doctrine, which includes Iron Dome, a system aimed at intercepting short range rockets from Gaza; David's Sling, which can intercept medium-range missiles owned by the Iran-backed Hezbollah organization in southern Lebanon; and the long range Arrow-3 anti ballistic missiles system.

The Israeli air force received the latest variant of interceptors early in 2017 for operational use.

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