The US-Israel Arrow Weapon System (AWS) and its Upper-Tier Arrow-3 missile scored its first intercept Thursday in a complex test designed to validate how the system can detect, identify, track and then discriminate real from decoy targets traveling quickly through space.

The milestone test, conducted over the Mediterranean Sea, paves the way toward low-rate initial production of the exo-atmospheric interceptor developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and supported by its US partner, Boeing, program officials said.

Less than three minutes after an Israel Air Force fighter launched an improved Silver Sparrow target missile at 8:12 a.m. over the Mediterranean Sea, program officials at Palmachim Air Base launched the two-stage Arrow-3, which uses pivoting optical sensors and its own upper-stage kick motor to steer itself precisely into incoming targets. […]