U.S.-Israeli Interceptor Completes Flight Test

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A ballistic missile interceptor jointly developed by Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed its second flight test Jan. 3, according to a press release from Boeing, the main U.S. contractor on the project.

The test of the exoatmospheric interceptor, named Arrow-3, took place at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea. The test did not include an intercept of a target missile.

Plans call for integrating the upper-tier Arrow-3 into a single national missile defense network for Israel. A press release from the MDA said the test “provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat.”

The two-stage Arrow-3 uses pivoting optical sensors and an upper-stage kick motor to steer itself precisely into incoming targets. The interceptor is designed to fly nearly twice as high at half the weight of the previous-generation interceptor, the Arrow-2, allowing multiple opportunities to shoot down advanced, maneuvering and possibly nuclear warhead-equipped targets.

The Arrow-3 successfully completed a similar test in March 2013.