Israel successfully tests new missile defense system

The Israeli Defense Ministry said on Monday that it had carried out a successful test of its upgraded Arrow interceptor system, which is meant to destroy the type of missiles held by Iran and Syria.

The U.S.-based Arrow III system uses kamikaze satellites that target ballistic missiles above the earth's atmosphere, hitting them high enough to ensure the safe disintegration of non-conventional warheads. Monday's test, which did not involve the interception of a target, was the first live flight for the Arrow III, Reuters reports.

"The test examined for the first time the capabilities and the performance of the new Arrow III, considered to be the most innovative and revolutionary interceptor in the world," the defense ministry said, according to Reuters.

An official with the ministry said the test was 100 percent successful. Designers said the system proved success in up to 90 percent of prior tests.

"The success of the test is an important milestone in the operational capabilities of the state of Israel to be able to defend itself against threats in the region," the ministry said, according to Reuters.

The ministry said the timing of the test was not related to current tensions with Syria or Iran. Israel previously accused Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons and hinted that it might strike Iran to stop its atomic program.

Israel is planning another flight test followed by a simulated interception in space over the Mediterranean, Reuters reports.