Israel successfully tested "breakthrough" capabilities of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system Tuesday, the country's Defense Ministry reported.
The proven capabilities can be used by the Israeli Air Force, The Times of Israel reported.
"We have made a breakthrough in every part of the system, in the detection arrays, in the launches, even in the interceptors themselves, so that they match the threats that are expected in the region," said Moshe Patel, head of the Defense Ministry’s missile defense organization.
"There were highly, highly significant technological breakthroughs here that were assessed and can be used by the air force in its operational systems immediately."
The breakthroughs principally were in the area of "algorithms" — the ways in which the system detects incoming threats and calculates launch trajectories for interceptors, according to the president of the company that makes the Arrow 3.
"I won't elaborate, but it gives the system more capabilities in dealing with threats," Israel Aerospace Industries President and CEO Boaz Levy said, the Times reported.
Tuesday’s test followed a number of recent ballistic missile tests by Iran.
Israel's successful test enhances the country's ability to defend itself against Iran, or to take action if needed.
"We are preserving Israel's ability to defend itself against developing threats in the region and allowing Israel offensive freedom of operation against its enemies, from an understanding that the best defense allows for the most effective attack," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.
The Arrow 3, developed with the help of the American Missile Defense Agency, is Israel's most advanced long-range missile defense system, meant to intercept ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, the Times reported.
Development of a more advanced system, the Arrow 4, is under way.
Tuesday's live-fire test was held over central Israel in the early hours, with two Arrow 3 interceptors being fired at the same target.
"The operational radar arrays of the Arrow system detected the target and sent the data to the fire management system, which analyzed the data and fully plotted the interception," the Defense Ministry reported.
"Once the plans were completed, two Arrow 3 interceptors were fired at the target, and they completed their mission successfully."
The Arrow 3, first tested successfully in February 2018, is considered one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world.
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