The test, which involved a fighter jet launching a Silver Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea, was designed to evaluate the Arrow system’s ability to detect, track and communicate information about a simulated missile threat to Israel, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, which provided technical help.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement that the test, part of U.S.-Israeli cooperation on several missile defense projects, was “long planned” and unrelated to possible American-led military action against Syria.
“This test had nothing to do with United States consideration of military action to respond to Syria's chemical weapons attack,” he said.
A potential attack on Syria has raised concern in some circles that Syria or its allies might retaliate by launching missiles at Israel.
The Arrow system, including Arrow 2 interceptors, has been deployed in Israel for years. The Arrow 3 interceptor is being developed to destroy hostile missiles at longer ranges. According to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the Arrow 3 interceptor successfully completed its first flight test in February.
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