First test of Arrow 3 interceptor system intensifies speculation that Israel is planning for military confrontation with Iran.
(The Guardian) Israel is to test an advanced anti-ballistic missile system in the coming weeks, inevitably fuelling speculation about preparations for a possible military confrontation with Iran.
The announcement that the first test of the Arrow 3 interceptor system would be performed "in the near future" was made as Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu flew to North America ahead of a crucial meeting with President Barack Obama at which Iran will top the agenda. Netanyahu is expected to press for a clear US commitment to military action if diplomacy and sanctions fail.
The Arrow 3 test would confirm "the interceptor missile's effectiveness", said Itzhak Kaya, head of the Arrow missile programme at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Thursday. A number of different tests would be carried out within a short period to "establish its high level of reliability".
The Arrow 3 was an "improved model of the Arrow system … more capable than ever to deal with future threats", Kaya added. The test was being conducted as part of a long-term plan devised by Israel and its US partner on the Arrow missile programme, he said.