Unprecedented Turn in Gaza War: Israel’s Newest Deployment a World First, Will Make History Books

The left laughed when then-President Ronald Reagan made weapons in space a priority, derisively calling it “Star Wars.” They were even more derision when it came to former President Donald Trump’s Space Force, with an entire television series dedicated to mocking it. Perhaps, however, they won’t be laughing so hard now that Israel has made history by launching the first combat act that took place entirely in outer space. According to Fox News, the Arrow 3 interceptor missile saw its first operational use on Nov. 9, the outlet reported on Friday. The Arrow 3, jointly developed by the United States and Israel, is an exo-atmospheric defense system which can intercept ballistic missiles when they’re outside our atmosphere. In this case, the missile was fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen; the Times of Israel said the target was Eilat, the southernmost city in the Jewish state. The eco-atmospheric interception happened over the Red Sea, the Israeli Defense Force said. When the system was declared operational in 2017, Reuters called the Arrow 3 “a ‘Star Wars’-like extension of [Israel’s] capabilities to outer space where incoming missiles can be safely destroyed.” However, while the Arrow 3 has been part of Israel’s shield against missiles and rockets for six years, the Nov. 9 encounter was the first time the missile saw combat usage. Two other missiles have been shot down by the Arrow system in the past few weeks, but these interceptions — one of a rocket fired from Gaza, the other another Houthi-fired missile from Yemen — used the earlier iteration of the system, the Arrow 2, which does not leave the atmosphere. On social media, there were reports of the launch being caught on a car’s camera: “The Arrow system, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, is the top tier of Israel’s multi-layered integrated air defenses, focused on incoming ballistic missiles,” Breaking Defense noted in a Nov.9 report. “Arrow-3 is the most advanced variant currently in service; the Arrow-2 had its first successful intercept on Oct. 31. the Arrow 3 system was recently sold to Germany as Berlin sought a solution to threats in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine. Israel announced it was working on an Arrow 4 system to build on the success of Arrow 3 in 2021.” Taking the war to outer space is a new frontier, to put it mildly. Less than 100 years ago, ballistic warfare was as advanced as lobbing artillery at the other side of the trenches. Now, we’ve come to the point where two sides can face each other in outer space. Given that Israel is already on to the Arrow 4 and other countries have similar systems, acts of war will increasingly take place outside the atmosphere. Especially as several conflicts threaten to metastasize and go global, other players aside from the United States and Israel will look to beef up their capability to deploy weapons outside the atmosphere. No, “Star Wars” didn’t come to pass and Space Force has seen mostly modest progress since its inception, but looking toward the stars wasn’t wrong, either — as the IDF has proved in its fight against extremist aggressors.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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