Israel has successfully conducted the first stage of tests on a space-based missile defense system which uses ‘Kamikaze’ suicide satellites to blow up long range missiles at high altitude.
The new Arrow III defense system, an upgrade of previous Israeli Arrow interceptor systems, was developed in cooperation with the United States of America. It could be used to intercept long range missiles of the kind owned by Iran and Syria, is offers the ability to intercept nuclear or chemical warheads without dangerous fallout.
Israel is working to create a comprehensive three level missile defense system. The short range component of this system is called the ‘Iron Dome’ – is has been well-tested by Qassam rockets fired by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants, and is generally considered to be the most successful and effective missile defense system in operation anywhere in the world. A mid-range system which has been named ‘David’s Sling’ is still in development.
Arrow III is the long range component of the system, and aims to destroy non-conventional warheads at high altitude. This would allow Israel to intercept nuclear warheads in space, allowing any fallout to dissipate without posing a risk to the public. It does this by using ‘Kamikaze’ satellites which target and then crash into the missiles. If the Arrow III system failed to intercept a missile, it could still be intercepted further along its course by the other two systems.