Tel Aviv, Feb 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Israel and the US have carried out the first successful test of the Arrow 3 missile defence interceptor, the Israeli defence ministry said.
The interceptor, designed to shoot down long-range missiles, was fired into space from a coastal military launching pad in central Israel.
A senior defence source told The Jerusalem Post that the interceptor took off over the Mediterranean Sea, "obtained hypersonic speed, and reached an altitude of 100 km, entering space".
The test was led by technicians from the Israel Aerospace Industries, together with a team from the US Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency.
The system is set to become operational by 2016 and is designed to effectively engage Iranian Shihab 3 missiles, among others.
Arrow 3 will be part of the multi-layered defence shield Israel is building. It currently has the Iron Dome missile defence system that can intercept short-range and medium-range rockets and reportedly intercepted up to 85 percent of rockets fired from Gaza in November 2012.