A ballistic missile was launched from Yemen by the Houthis and flew almost 1,600 kilometers over the Arabian peninsula towards the Israeli port city of Eilat
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Sputnik – According to The Telegraph, Israel this week used its Arrow missile defense system to shoot down a ballistic missile outside the Earth’s atmosphere, the first “space combat” on record.
The ballistic missile was launched from Yemen by the Houthis and flew nearly 1,000 miles over the Arabian peninsula on its way to its target, the Israeli port city of Eilat.
Although the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has released few details about the intercept, the Air Force is known to operate several batteries of the Arrow 2 system, which uses a hypersonic interceptor to eliminate incoming missiles in space.
In a statement, the IDF said Air Force systems tracked the missile’s trajectory and intercepted it “at the most appropriate operational time and location.”
Images from Eilat showed a trail of smoke from the Arrow interceptor, accompanied by reports from local residents of a large explosion.
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Yemen’s Houthis also released images of the alleged Qader missile — an improved version of the Iranian-designed Shahab 3 loaded with a high-explosive warhead — launched as part of a barrage of drones and other long-range weapons aimed at Israeli towns and cities. .
The missile launched by the Houthis is precisely the threat that Israel’s Arrow system, first deployed some 25 years ago, was designed to combat.
The joint US-Israel Arrow project arose from the need to give Tel Aviv a way to defend itself after Israeli cities were hit by Iraqi Scud missiles during the first Gulf War.
Still according to the media, while other anti-missile defense systems were originally designed to shoot down aircraft and had to be adapted to shoot down long-range ballistic missiles at much higher altitudes and speeds, the Arrow was the first to be designed specifically for this purpose.