Israel has test fired its Arrow II ballistic missile system to be prepared to counter what it calls Iranian and Syrian missile threat.
The defense ministry said Tuesday that it had carried out a successful test of its Arrow II interceptor missile which was jointly funded by Israel and the US to serve as a strategic shield against Iranian and Syrian ballistic missiles, the Israeli media reported.
“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,” Haaretz quoted an unnamed source as saying.
According to Israeli Radio, this was the Arrow’s 16th test launch, which has a 90 percent success rate.
Citing a defense source, Ynet reported on Tuesday that the Arrow had intercepted a target ‘Blue Anchor’ missile — meant to simulate an Iranian Shahab-3 — lunched from an Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean.
The Iranian Shahab-3 has a range of up to 1,250 miles (2000 kilometers) and is capable of carrying a 1,000-760 kilogram warhead.
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, believed to be the only possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, considers Iran and its nuclear program a threat to its existence.
Tehran says it merely seeks the civilian application of nuclear technology to which it has a right to as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Tel Aviv has repeatedly threatened to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. Tehran says it will not attack any country preemptively and that its domestically-manufactured missiles will only be used in the event of an attack on Iranian soil.