The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has successfully intercepted a target UAV using Patriot surface-to-air missile system from a base in central Israel as part of an air force drill.
As part of the exercise, the American-made system scored a direct hit on an airborne UAV. The successful interception was part of a larger exercise planned in advance for 2017, according to a statement from the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Ynet reported Thursday.
Lt. Col. Raz Nahum, a Patriot battalion commander, said, "During the course of the training exercise, several Patriot missiles were fired at targets designated as threats. This drill is a direct continuation of attempts in recent years to violate the sovereignty of the State of Israel.
"There is no doubt that after the drill we conducted we improved the awareness of our personnel and the effectiveness of the system."
Capt. David Azami, a battery commander, added that the exercise was carried out in order to "improve our skills and capabilities during combat in order to be better and stronger."
The Patriot, known in Hebrew as Yahalom ("diamond"), has been in use with the Air Defense Command since 1991 when the system was brought to Israel to defend against SCUD attacks launched by Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army.
Today, the Patriot is still considered one of the most advanced air defense systems in service and in addition to the United States, is used by countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, Belgium and Japan.