A successful test of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system was conducted on Monday, the Defense Ministry announced. This was the first flight test for the system's interceptor missile; it was conducted in central Israel.
Arrow 3 is a joint project of the Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure and the U.S. Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency. It is considered to be the most innovative and revolutionary anti-missile system in the world.
The Defense Ministry said the Arrow 3 will enable Israel's existing missile defense network to better deal with future threats. It is a central component of the multilayered aerial defense network being developed by Israel. The network includes Iron Dome (operational), David's Sling (in development), Arrow 2 (operational) and Arrow 3 (in development).Arrow 3 is meant to bolster Israel's ability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles. It is designed to intercept such missiles outside the Earth's atmosphere in space.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated those involved in Monday's test, calling it an "important milestone."
Additional tests are expected in the next couple of years before the system becomes operational.
Representatives from the Defense Ministry, the Israel Air Force, the U.S. Defense Department and various defense companies involved in the development of the Arrow 3 were present at Monday's test.
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday that an Iron Dome battery had been deployed in the Tel Aviv area and would remain there for the next several days.
The IDF said that the Iron Dome is going through an operational absorption process, including the movement of batteries to different locations around the country from time to time.
A few weeks ago, three Iron Dome batteries were deployed in northern Israel when tensions in the region were running high following a reported airstrike in Syria that foreign media outlets said the IAF carried out.