Patriot Defense System Tests Successfully

YERUSHALAYIM -
An IDF Patriot missile defense battery in the northern city of Haifa in August 2013. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Israel successfully fired several Patriot surface-to-air missiles over the central region in a test on Wednesday night to improve the skills and capabilities of missile defense teams.

The American-made system reportedly scored a direct hit on an airborne UAV. According to a statement from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the interception was part of a larger exercise planned in advance for 2017.

Lt. Col. Raz Nahum, a Patriot battalion commander, said, “During the course of the training exercise, several Patriot missiles were fired at targets designated as threats. This drill follows attempts in recent years to violate the sovereignty of the state of Israel.

“There is no doubt that after the drill we conducted we improved the awareness of our personnel and the effectiveness of the system.”

The Patriot, known in Hebrew as Yahalom (Diamond), has been in use by the Air Defense Command since 1991, when the system was brought to Israel to defend against SCUD attacks launched by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army.