Israel is planning to conduct a test of its Arrow-3 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system in Kodiak, an Alaskan island in the US, next year. The test will mark the first time that Israel will carry out a missile system test outside of Israeli territory.
The military exercise will be carried out jointly with the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) and will involve the defence system dealing with targets simulating Iranian advanced ballistic missiles.
Israel and the US have both expressed deep concern over Iran’s developing nuclear and ballistic missile program. The bilateral powers have worked together to develop several missile defence systems, including the Arrow-3 which was co-managed by Israel’s Ministry of Defence and by MDA.
The trial is to be part of the £62 million deal between MDA and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, and further tests of the defence system are expected.
The highly manoeuvrable Arrow-3 ICBM system has been designed to intercept ballistic missiles before they reach the Earth’s atmosphere. The Arrow-3 system, together with the Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept short-range rockets, and the recent David’s sling defence system, which protects against medium-to-long range missiles, form Israel’s multi-layered defence system.
The Arrow-3 ICBM defence system was first used in March this year to intercept a Syrian anti-aircraft missile targeted at Israeli Air Force (IAF) fighter jets. The incident was the most serious exchange between the two countries since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.