For the first time, Israel, jointly with the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), will test the Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile system in the US state of Alaska.
According to a statement yesterday by Israel’s Channel 2, the test will take place at Alaska’s Kodiak test site and is scheduled to be accomplished within few months. The location was chosen given its relative isolation as there is a possibility of falling shrapnel after the interception.
The system is set to be tested against a target similar in behaviour to the advanced ballistic missiles, which are currently being developed, and have already been achieved, by Iran.
The Arrow-3 is an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile intended to destroy targets outside the earth’s atmosphere, which enables the system to neutralise any threat, including a missile carrying a nuclear warhead, without creating any damage on the ground below. Sometimes, the system is used to intercept satellites.
Official sources at the centre of the spaceport on Kodiak Island announced that the Arrow-3 test will cost an estimated $80 million, with a portion being funded by the US. The sources added that a town hall meeting is set to be held next Wednesday 14 June to answer questions about the missile’s 2018 testing plan.
Alaska Aerospace CEO, Craig Campbell, recently revealed that the test is part of a five to six-year, $80.4 million contract announced a year ago between the MDA and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.
The missile, which is jointly managed by MDA and the Israel Missile Defence Organization, was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing Company, Campbell explained.