JERUSALEM – Israel and the United States have tested the Arrow 3 anti-missile system, which managed to down an exoatmospheric object, military sources announced on Sunday.
The tests were carried out secretly on Alaska’s Kodiak Island over the past 10 days, director of Israeli Missile Defense Organization Moshe Patel told reporters.
The Arrow 3 managed to intercept three targets similar to the different kinds of missiles that could be launched at Israel, he added.
A missile launched by Iran would take 10 minutes to reach Israel, enough time for a reaction, Patel explained.
The Israeli spokesman praised the achievement and said Israel is grateful to the US for its cooperation, describing it as fundamental.
Both parties started to work on the project three years ago and Israel asked the US Congress for permission to carry out the tests on US soil because of Israel’s security limitations.
Leading up to the tests, hundreds of engineers, military personnel and experts worked inside Israel and abroad for 11 weeks, Patel said.
The system, designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, was tested with the support of the US AN/TPY-2 Surveillance Transportable Radar.
Patel praised the efforts of thousands of defense ministry employees, engineers and officials and their American counterparts.
Israeli acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “In recent weeks we have carried out three pioneering secret experiments of the Arrow 3 missile.
“These experiments were held in the US, in Alaska, in full cooperation with our great ally the US.”
He added: “They were successful beyond any imagination.
“The Arrow 3 – with complete success – intercepted ballistic missiles beyond the atmosphere at unprecedented altitudes and speeds.
“The execution was perfect – all precise hits.”
The Israeli leader continued: “Today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles that could be launched against us from Iran or anywhere else.
“This is a great achievement for the security of Israel.
“All of our enemies should know that we will overcome them in both defense and offense.”