Israel carries out 'successful' missile test

Israel carried out a test launch of its Arrow II interceptor missile on Tuesday, the Defence Ministry said, a system designed to defend against possible ballistic missile attacks by Iran and Syria.

“It was a successful test,” the ministry said.

The Arrow intercepted a target missile, simulating an Iranian Shehab, launched from an Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean, a defence source said.

Israel Radio said it was the 16th test launch of an Arrow. The defence source said 90% of those tests have been successful.

The defence source said the aim of this test was to prepare for future threats as enemy missiles improve their capabilities.

“The arrow’s interception altitude has been enhanced. Of course, the higher you go, the further out you can reach as well.
Our doctrine is to intercept enemy missiles as far away from Israeli skies as possible. That gives you time for another try if you miss,” the source, who could not be named, said.

The project is jointly funded by Israel and the United States to serve as a strategtic shield against ballistic missiles in the arsenals of Iran and Syria.

The Defence Ministry said Defence Minister Ehud Barak watched the launch while airborne in a helicopter after returning from a frontline visit of troops along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

At least two Arrow batteries have been deployed in Israel, which has been testing the system to improve its performance at high altitudes and against multiple incoming missiles.

Israel fears that Iran’s uranium enrichment programme is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.—Reuters

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