Israel, U.S. Conduct Successful Joint Missile Defense Test

The Israeli Defense Ministry and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have successfully completed a test to ensure that both countries’ missile defense systems can work in sync, the Defense Ministry revealed on Wednesday.

The five-day-long test, which was the first of its kind, assessed the connectivity between American systems and Israel’s “David’s Sling” and “Arrow-3″ technologies. The test took place concurrently at the systems’ development centers in both the United States and Israel, and included intercepting a target from space, according to The Jerusalem Post. A previous trial was conducted eight years ago, but did not include Israel’s new systems, a senior Israeli defense official told Globes.

After processing the data from the test, the Israeli Defense Ministry expressed great satisfaction with its results. “The Israeli and US defense systems demonstrated excellent capabilities, clearly highlighting the advantage of working with a uniform system at times of need,” the senior figure added.

The trial was a follow-up to Juniper Cobra, the biennial U.S.-Israel joint military exercise conducted earlier this year. Over 1,700 U.S. soldiers and contractors joined together with the Israeli Defense Forces to address simulated missile defense scenarios.

Israel is believed to have one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world. Its system includes Iron Dome, which stops low-accuracy rockets like those fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip; Arrow-3, which could be used to stop Iranian long-range nuclear ballistic missiles by, in the words of The Washington Post, “knock[ing] out enemy targets in space by deploying ‘kamikaze satellites,’ or ‘kill vehicles,’ that track their targets”; and David’s Sling, which intercepts medium-range missiles like those controlled by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The threat of missiles is acute from all three adversaries: Hamas has been test-firing missiles into the Mediterranean Sea, the IDF believes that Hezbollah could have up to 100,000 rockets positioned in Lebanon, and Iran has conducted eight missile tests since signing the nuclear deal in 2015.

A video of a David’s Sling test from 2015 is embedded below:

[Photo: Defense Ministry]