Israel fired a missile Tuesday over the Mediterranean Sea to test part of its missile defense system designed to intercept long-range rockets.
Israel’s Defense Ministry said the Arrow 2 missile “performed its flight sequence as planned” after being launched. It is part of a multilayered system Israel is developing to protect itself from an array of missile threats, from short-range rockets fired in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to longer-range threats, like a missile launch from Iran.
The Arrow 2 has been operational since 2000 and is occasionally tested either in Israel or the United States.
Israel’s more-advanced Arrow 3 is designed to strike targets outside the atmosphere, intercepting missiles closer to their launch sites. A successful Arrow 3 test was carried out in January and is expected to become operational only around 2016.
During the test, a Rafael-produced Sparrow missile was fired from the Mediterranean Sea at Israel, a senior official from the Ministry of Defense told The Jerusalem Post. “The systems detected and tracked the missile, and at the correct time, fired an Arrow 2 interceptor,” the official added.
Data from the test will take time to evaluate fully. “The amount of information broadcast from the interceptor missile every second is equivalent to a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica,” the official said.