During a unique night test of its Patriot missile defense system, the Israeli Air Force was able to knock down an unmanned aerial vehicle, further demonstrating the system's capabilities against threats from Hezbollah and Iran.
In a statement, the army said the Patriot system was pitted against “various aerial threats” during the exercise.
That included testing the system to ensure it could shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles.
The report also notes the system hasn’t always been successful against UAV’s or drones:
The Patriot has come up against drones in the field on multiple occasions. In April, the system successfully shot down a UAV. However, the interceptor has not always stood up to the challenge.
In July 2016, the Air Force fired two Patriot missiles at drones that breached Israeli air space near the Syrian border. (Originally feared to be a Hezbollah drone, it was later said to have been a Russian UAV that entered Israeli territory accidentally.)
IAF officials said the test wasn’t linked to any specific threat to the country, but was instead part of ongoing training for a wide range of threats it may face. Israel faces the threat of “hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles pointed at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.”
The Patriot system is part of a multilayered aerial defense that includes Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems.