Israel successfully tested its upgraded Arrow ballistic missile interceptor for the second time on Friday, pushing forward work on a U.S.-backed defense against threats seen from Iran, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas.
One of several elements of Israel’s still-developing defense against missile attacks, Arrow III is designed to deploy kamikaze satellites – known as “kill vehicles” – that track and slam into ballistic missiles above the earth’s atmosphere, high enough to safely disintegrate any chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.
Iran and Syria have long had such missiles, and Israel believes some are also now held by their ally Hezbollah, another knock-on effect of Syria’s civil war.
Friday’s launch of an Arrow III interceptor missile over the Mediterranean sea was the second flight of the system, but did not involve the interception of any target, Israeli defense officials said. Israel deployed the previous version, Arrow II, more than a decade ago and says it has scored around a 90 percent success rate in live trials.
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