JERUSALEM, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it, along with the United States, had successfully launched and tracked a new target missile in the Mediterranean Sea.
Officials from the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency have jointly conducted a first flight test of a new version of a target missile called Sparrow, the Defense Ministry said in a statement sent to Xinhua.
It said the missile was launched at 9:15 a.m. local time (0615 GMT) from an air force test range in central Israel, and flew its trajectory according to plans.
"A Super Green Pine radar, used by the Arrow II anti-ballistic missile interceptor, successfully detected and tracked the missile, relaying data to the Citron Tree Battle Management Control System, " the Defense Ministry statement said.
"All the elements of the system performed according to their operational configuration," it added.
Earlier in the day, Russian news agencies, quoting a Defense Ministry spokesman, reported that a Russian early warning radar station near the Black Sea detected the launch of two ballistic " objects" in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The reports did not indicate who was behind the launch. The Russian Embassy in Damascus told the state news agency Itar-Tass that it did not identify any signs of explosions in the Syrian capital.
The joint Israeli-U.S. test firing of the Sparrow comes at a particularly sensitive time, as the prospect of a U.S. military action in Syria continues to loom over the region, alongside threats by Syria to attack Israel in response to an American strike.