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Israel's Arrow 3 makes operational debut

The Israeli MoD released a file photo of an Arrow 3 interceptor being launched to illustrate the first operational use of the missile on 9 November. (Israeli Ministry of Defense)

Israel used a long-range Arrow 3 exoatmospheric ballistic missile interceptor operationally for the first time on 9 November, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced later that day.

The Arrow 3 is one of two interceptors that can be launched by the Arrow Weapon System (AWS), the other being the Arrow 2 that is designed to counter ballistic missiles after they re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.

“Israeli Air Defense Array soldiers successfully launched an Arrow 3 interceptor operationally for the first time this evening [at a] target launched towards Israel in the Red Sea region,” the MoD said in a statement on 9 November. “This marks the Arrow 3 system's first operational interception since its operational deployment in 2017. This achievement follows the recent success of the first operational interception carried out by the Arrow 2 system last week.”

The Iranian-backed Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah announced around the same time that it had launched multiple ballistic missiles at targets in the port city of Eilat in the far south of Israel and claimed the resulting casualties were covered up.

The group previously claimed a series of attacks on Israel in response to the war in Gaza, including ballistic missile launches on 31 October.

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