Jerusalem: Israel successfully test fired an improved Patriot missile as part of efforts to upgrade the country's radar system, the army said on Wednesday.
The test firing was conducted on Tuesday in southern Israel as "part of series of improvements conducted in the missile's operational system towards a new radar system that allows a wider cover and detection ranges." The system is being upgraded after large parts of Israel became vulnerable to Hezbollah rockets during last year's war.
Over a thousand Hezbollah rockets were fired during the entire duration of the war.
Earlier, in August, it was reported that the Israeli Air Force would purchase advanced Patriot PAC-3 missiles, made in the United States that would be capable of intercepting aircraft and long-range ballistic missiles.
The Patriot PAC-3 missile, weighing 320 kilos (700 pounds), increases the firepower of a Patriot battery, as 16 of them fit on a launcher, compared with four PAC-2s.
Israel first deployed the Patriot system in 1991, when then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein fired Scuds on the country during the first Gulf War. The Patriots, designed to intercept only aircraft at that point of time, turned out to be tremendously successful in their new role.