Israel tests multi-range missile defense system

Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it has “successfully” tested a multi-range missile defense system that is capable of intercepting long-range and short-range missiles.

The live-fire drills took place in an Israeli air force base in central Israel a few weeks ago, jointly with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the ministry said in a statement.

The tests simulated attacks by cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and drones, it said.

Defense officials with the ministry said it was the first time that integrated tests have been carried out, bringing together different components of the country’s multi-layered areal defense systems. These components include the Arrow, a long-range ballistic missile interceptor, David’s Sling, a medium-to-long-range missile defense system, and the Iron Dome, a short-range anti-rocket system.

The tests indicated that the systems “will be capable of intercepting threats simultaneously during a conflict,” the ministry said.

Head of the defense ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization, Moshe Patel, said in the statement that the tests were “unprecedented in their complexity” and demonstrated that Israel has “a robust, multi-layered capability to face a variety of threats – cruise missiles, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and ballistic threats.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in the statement that the tests were the first demonstration of Israel’s multi-layered approach to dealing with threats.

“This is one of the most advanced air defense mechanisms in the world and it protects the state from threats near and far,” Gantz said.

These anti-missile systems have been developed by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development in the Defense Ministry, and Rafael, an Israeli weapons and defense technology company.