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Israel warns Tehran ‘Arrow-3’ passes US interception tests

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman watch a video which shows the launch of the Arrow 3 hypersonic anti-ballistic missile during a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Sunday July 28 2019. Netanyahu said at the Cabinet meeting Sunday that the joint Israel – US Arrow 3 missile was successfully tested in Alaska and will have the “ability to act against ballistic missiles fired against us from Iran and from any other location.” (Menahem Kahana / POOL via AP)

JERUSALEM, July 28, (RTRS): Israel’s US-backed Arrow- 3 ballistic missile shield has passed a series of live interception tests over Alaska, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, casting the achievement as a warning to Iran. Jointly manufactured by US firm Boeing Co, Arrow-3 is billed as capable of shooting down incoming missiles in space, an altitude that would destroy any non-conventional warheads safely. It passed its first full interception test over the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 and was deployed in Israel in 2017.

“The performance was perfect – every hit a bull’s eye,” Netanyahu, who doubles as defence minister, said in a statement announcing the three secret tests. Israel views the Arrow-3 as a bullwark against the ballistic missiles fielded by Iran and Syria.

Iran has been locked in a spiralling confrontation with the United States over its nuclear programme and missile projects. Washington said last week that Iran appeared to have tested a medium-range ballistic missile that flew about 1,000 kms (620 miles). Tehran said such tests were for defensive needs. “Today Israel has the capabilities to act against ballistic missiles launched at us from Iran and from anywhere else,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.

“All our foes should know that we can best them, both defensively and offensively.” Arrow-3’s Alaska trials had been expected last year but were postponed, following earlier difficulties in testing the system.

Its first full trial, scheduled in 2014, was aborted due to what designers said was a faulty fl ight by the target missile. Follow-up Israeli tests in late 2017 and early 2018 were also called off at short notice due to technical problems.

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