As repeatedly stressed on these pages, we have been witnessing for months a growing strengthening of the military apparatuses throughout the Middle East, in the silence of the Italian press, which generally only reports what happens on the side of the “bad guy” – Iran.
Still missiles in the Middle East
In fact, on Friday, there was news that Iran tested the Shabab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, launched from the south-eastern coast of Iran, along the Gulf of Oman, heading north, covering 1000 kilometers to the target.
It is a carrier developed over twenty years ago and officially entered into service in 2003: therefore a weapon of not very modern design, able to carry various types of warheads, including nuclear ones.
In the West, the news was discreetly reflected in the climate of growing tension between Iran, the United States and Great Britain in the Persian Gulf, as often indicated by clarissa.it.
The news of the deployment around the capital Ankara of the first station of the Russian-produced short-range anti-aircraft missile system S-400, considered more convenient than the MIM-104 Patriot defense system offered by the US, was also given some importance: a news that has obviously aroused the American ire, being for more the Turkey a NATO member, a reason for which the American government has immediately blocked the sale to the Anatolian country of the F-35 interceptor fighters destined to it.
Long-range Arrow-3 for Israel
Now there is news that represents an element of novelty without precedent in the escalation of the strategic-military confrontation in the Near East: for the first time in the history of Israel, in fact, the Jewish armed forces have been able to carry out the triple ballistic missile test for a long time radius, the Arrow-3, using the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska (PSCA) base, located in Kodiak, Alaska, i.e. in North-American territory.
Another important novelty is the type of this missile. The space battlefield is in fact divided by the experts into an endo-atmospheric area (ie within 100 kilometers of altitude) and into an exo-atmospheric one, above that altitude. Arrow-3, in the version tested by Israeli, is a vector capable of operating at an exo-atmospheric level, to intercept and hit enemy ballistic missiles.
The test of the weapon system, assisted by the American radar AN-TPY2, would have obtained, according to Israeli press sources, excellent results. Yet Arrow-3 is considered one of the best interceptors in the world, thanks to its maneuverability, which enables it to hit targets even above the earth’s atmosphere.
In Israel, the new system integrates perfectly with the other components of the powerful anti-missile defensive structure already in operation: they include Iron Dome, a system of interceptor missiles against short-range rockets, operational since 2011, and David’ Sling, a missile system designed for intercepting medium and long-range ballistic missiles, as well as cruise missiles operating in a range between 40 and 300 kilometers, operational since 2017 and used for the first time in July 2018.
A completely new element in the Middle East
The statements by the missile test managers were enthusiastic: Moshe Patel, director of the Israeli missile defense agency (Israel Missile Defense Organization – IMDO), told the press:
«The challenge of these ten years of development has now found its culminating moment: the Arrow-3 weapon system has completed its test cycle, in which an Arrow-3 missile has successfully intercepted its target – adding that – the fact that these tests were conducted in Alaska, thousands of kilometers from Israel, is another significant result, which demonstrates the operational capabilities of the Arrow-3 system to deal with any type of threat».
The US vice-admiral John Hill, director of the American Missile Defense Agency (MDA), with whom the Israeli defense ministry has a contract for 80 million dollars, mostly covered by military aid of the same, echoed it. US government, which employs a pool of important companies in the so-called fully integrated military-industrial system between the US and Israel.
«The success of these tests marks a fundamental step in the development of the Arrow system. This extraordinary success in Alaska strengthens Israel’s future capabilities to destroy the threats that are developing in the region. We are committed to assisting the Israeli government to increase its missile capacity to defend the State of Israel from the threats that are emerging».
Netanyahu celebrating Israeli power
This new test shows that Israel has reached an unprecedented level of capacity not only defensive, as we often limit it to, but also offensive, and this explains the words pronounced last June 19, by Bejamin Netanyahu:
«I hear our neighbors to the north, south and east threatening us with destruction. Israel has enormous capacity for destruction, and our enemies must not put them to the test. (…) I say to our enemies: the Israeli armed forces have a great annihilation power, don’t put it to the test».
Statements perhaps not so casual, given that on 17 June the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an authoritative international organization dealing with the proliferation of armaments, in its Yearbook 2019, prudently estimated between 80 and 90 the nuclear warheads owned by the State of Israel.
Does all this power really serve to ensure a just and honorable peace in the Middle East?