On the morning of January 22nd, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted a planned trial of the Arrow-3 missile defense system.
The test was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Israel Air Force. It took place at around 6:44 in the morning local time and caused loud explosions in the vicinity of Palmahim in central Israel.
“Once the target was launched, Arrow Weapon System radars detected it and transferred the data to the battle management control (BMC) which then established a defense plan,” read a statement by the Israeli Defense Ministry. “At the right moment, the Arrow-3 interceptor was launched toward the target and successfully completed its mission.”
The Arrow-3 development program, one of the joint programs between Israel and the United States, was co-managed by MDA and IMDO, a division of the Israeli Defense Ministry.
The Jerusalem Post provided background on the Arrow-3 missile defense system:
“The primary contractor for the integration and development of the Arrow Weapon System is IAI’s MALAM division, which is responsible for the radar functions. Other contractors are Elbit Systems’ Elisra division, which developed the firing management systems and IAI’s TAMAM division together with IMI and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, who jointly developed the interceptor. America’s Boeing is also a partner in the system.
The Arrow-3 is a highly maneuverable system designed to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and is considered one of the world’s best interceptors due to its breakthrough technological capabilities. The Arrow 3 is the only interceptor that does not carry a warhead but intercepts an incoming missile by crashing into it.”
The reportedly pre-planned test came a little over a day after a presumed clash between Israel and Iran.
On January 20th, the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) repelled an Israeli airstrike on positions south of Damascus. Following the incident, the Israeli Defense Forces announced that its Iron Dome anti-rocket system had intercepted a projectile above the occupied Golan Heights.
The IDF blamed Iran for the alleged missile launch.
“The Iranian [rocket] launch took place after very lengthy preparations and a decision-making process that concluded months ago,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said.
He said that the rocket was launched “by an Iranian force from the Damascus area, from inside territory that [the Syrian government] promised would not host an Iranian presence.”
Later on the 20th, the IDF carried out another strike on the outskirt of the Syrian capital of Damascus claiming that it is aimed at Iranian Quds Forces. The Israeli side claimed it had targeted munition storage sites, a military site, an Iranian intelligence site and an Iranian military training camp.
The Israeli strike destroyed a Syrian Pantsir-S1 air defense system.
During the inauguration of a new international airport in Southern Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the IAF had “delivered powerful blows to Iranian targets in Syria, after Iran fired a rocket from that area toward our territory.”
On January 21st, Iran’s air force chief, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said that the Iranian military is ready to fight a war for “Israel’s disappearance.”
“The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth,” Nasirzadeh said.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Video: Israeli Strikes Destroy Syrian Pantsir-S1 System
- Israeli Warplanes Carry Out New Airstrikes On Damascus
- Syrian Air Defense Forces Repel Israeli Airstrike On Damascus
- Overview Of Syrian-Israeli Encounter On January 20-21 (Map, Videos, Photos)
- “We Are Ready For War That Will Destroy Israel”: Iran’s Air Force Chief