Israel says 'successfully' tested ballistic missiles

By: AFP      Published: 12:45 AM, 3 Jun, 2020
Israel says 'successfully' tested ballistic missiles

Israel on Tuesday said it has successfully tested two ballistic missiles in the Mediterranean, amid tensions with Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The state-run Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said the "complex trial... was held in the open sea" and involved two Long-Range Artillery Weapon Systems (LORA).

"The first scenario involved a short-range launch to 90 kilometres (55.8 miles) and the second to a long range of 400 kilometres (248 miles)," IAI said in a statement.

"Under both scenarios, the missile was launched to its trajectory, navigated its course to the target, and hit with utmost precision," the statement said.

It said the test was carried out at an unspecified date during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Both the weapon system and the missile successfully met all of the trial's objectives," the statement added.

"In its ground version, the weapon system was deployed on a ship in the open sea to comply with the safety requirements of trials of this type," the IAI said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the news.

"In the midst of the war against coronavirus, we continue to guarantee Israel's security in both offensive and defensive means," the prime minister said.

Israel and bitter foe Iran have long been at loggerheads.

Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Iran of seeking to expand its presence in war-wracked neighbouring Syria to threaten Israel.

Iran and its ally the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah back the Syrian regime in the conflict that started in 2011.

Since then, Israel has launched hundreds of attacks in Syria, targeting government troops, allied Iranian forces and fighters from Hezbollah.

Israel fought a war with Hezbollah in 2006.

It considers the group, which is represented in Lebanon's parliament and government, as a terrorist organisation.