TEL AVIV, (BM) – The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Directorate of the Israeli Defense Ministry has successfully tested the Hetz-2 [Strela-2] missile defense system jointly with the US ABM Agency, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing TASS and Israeli Ministry of Defence statement.
“The Missile Defense Directorate of the Israeli Defense Ministry, together with the US Missile Defense Agency and the Israeli Air Force, conducted a successful test of the Hetz-2 weapon system. The test was conducted under the direction of Israel Aerospace Industries at a site located in central Israel, on Thursday night at 23:45” the message says. “The Hetz-2 system successfully hit the Sparrow target missile, which simulates a long-range surface-to-surface missile. The tests were carried out in accordance with the plans of the [Israeli] defense department,” the press service added.
The Ministry of Defense indicated that “during the tests, the updated capabilities of the Hetz system were tested to combat current and future threats.” “The interception was carried out by Israeli Air Force personnel in conjunction with engineers from institutions involved in the development of the system. During the tests, various levels of Israeli air defense were used to ensure their readiness and effectiveness in combat scenarios,” the agency added.
“These successful interception tests add to a number of additional achievements, including the Hetz-3 test campaign conducted by the Israeli and US military in Alaska last year. Both systems have demonstrated enhanced operational capabilities. The integration of both systems into Israel’s air defense mechanism significantly increases the ability of the state to defend itself against current and future threats,” the press service of the defense ministry said.
The Hets-2 complex is designed to intercept ballistic missiles with a range of up to three thousand km, and the Hets-3 complex is designed to destroy missiles in an airless space at a distance of 400 to 2.5 thousand km and an altitude of up to 100 km.
The Hetz-2 system was introduced in 2000, its first combat use was reported in March 2017, when it was used to intercept a surface-to-air missile launched from Syria, the Times of Israel said. The first Hetz-3 anti-missile system was handed over to the Israeli Air Force in January 2017.
Israel and US will jointly produce Iron Dome
As we reported on August 3, the American company Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Israeli defense company Rafael signed an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) in the United States to produce the Iron Dome air and missile defense system.
The new joint venture was named Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems (RRAPS). The site is expected to be selected by the end of the year.
“This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” Sam Denecke’s Raytheon air defense equipment and facilities.
It is assumed that the enterprise will produce both the base version of the Iron Dome with the Tamir interceptor missile and the Sky Hunter anti-aircraft guided missile, which is a variant of the Tamir developed in the USA. Raytheon said both missiles are capable of intercepting cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, artillery shells and mortar mines.
As noted in the press service, the cooperation between Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Rafael in the development of the Iron Dome has been going on for more than ten years.
“We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our U.S. production,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president for Air and Missile Defense of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. “We have long partnered on U.S. production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the U.S.”
In 2019, the US Ground Forces announced their intention to purchase two Iron Dome batteries, the signing of the corresponding contract became known in August. Both batteries are expected to be tested in the US next year and deployed in September and December 2021, respectively.
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