Israel successfully tests missile defence system at sea

A screenshot of the Iron Dome system in action.
A screenshot of the Iron Dome system in action.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel has successfully tested a maritime missile interception system dubbed the Iron Dome of the Sea, the military announced on Wednesday.

The system, which the military said can shoot down short-range rockets similar to those fired from Gaza, successfully destroyed "several" missiles, Ariel Shir, head of operational systems in the navy, said.

He said the test, which took place two weeks ago, "proved the Israeli navy's ability to protect Israel's strategic assets at sea against short-range strategic rockets".

During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, Israel deployed its Iron Dome system on land to shoot down rockets fired across the border.

A similar system has been in development for several years and was revealed to the public on Wednesday.

A video provided by the army showed a rocket launcher installed on a ship firing at targets in the sky and later intercepting a missile.

Israel has a number of assets at sea, including a major offshore gas rig around 16 nautical miles from Gaza.

Hamas has previously targeted the installation unsuccessfully.

Any damage to the rig could be potentially hugely damaging to the Israeli economy, since it provides large amounts of the country's energy needs.