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Israel, US, Iran prepare for out-of-the-atmosphere battle

Israel and the United States are together developing super-technologies that enable missiles to hit other missiles out of the atmosphere.
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An amusing coincidence last week resulted in perfect timing. Just as Israel and the United States were conducting a test series of the Israeli-American Arrow-3 missile defense system, intercepting three missiles over Alaska (completed on July 28), Iran tested on July 24 a Shahab-3 missile over a distance of nearly 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from the south of the country toward an area east of Tehran in the north. Within a week, events in the airspace between Tehran and Alaska encapsulated the essence of the accelerated scientific-technological battle between Israel and Iran. The international battle of wits spans two decades, with the Israeli-American side currently in the lead. But the campaign is hardly over.

“We needed Alaska’s airspace to create a real test and put the system’s capabilities to a tough test,” a senior Israeli official involved in development of the Arrow-3 told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “In order to launch a target missile that would simulate a ballistic missile in outer space, we needed the expanses of Alaska,” he said. Israel’s Missile Defense Organization director Moshe Patel explained that it would have been difficult to conduct such tests over the Mediterranean as Israel has in the past. “Arrow-3 intercepted target missiles three times at great altitudes, out of Earth’s atmosphere, during a 10-day period under difficult conditions. The intercepts were perfect and the hits were precise. Due to the great altitude, the missile’s warheads were ground to dust that dissipated. It was unbelievable to watch.”

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