Washington: The United States and Israel on Sunday conducted a series of successful tests of their advanced Arrow 3 missile defence system in Alaska, authorities have said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Cabinet meeting on Sunday that the Arrow 3 shield tests gave his country the ability to act against ballistic missiles fired from Iran and from any other location, Voice of America News reported.
“During three recent tests in Alaska, the Arrow 3 intercepted ballistic missiles beyond the atmosphere at unprecedented altitudes and speeds. Perfect execution! I would like to express my deep and strong appreciation to the United States for advancing our joint security,” Netanyahu tweeted.
Meanwhile, the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) in a statement said that the Arrow 3 Interceptor missile achieved a “major milestone” in its development during a successful flight test where the system effectively intercepted a missile target outside the atmosphere.
“This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region,” MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said in the statement cited by Fox News.
“We are committed to assisting the Government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defence capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats,” he added.
Arrow 3, along with the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow 2 systems, is part of the multi-layered shield that Israel is developing to defend against rockets and long-range missiles.
The announcement of the Arrow 3’s success comes just days after a US official told Fox News that Iran successfully test-fired its Shahab 3, a medium-range ballistic missile, which flew more than 600 miles.
The missile tests come amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the West.
The US military had said last week that it had taken out two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, claims Tehran has denied. Tensions peaked last month after Iranian forces shot down a US surveillance drone, claiming it had violated Iranian airspace.