TEL AVIV — Israel has reported a successful test of its Arrow-2
missile defense system meant to simulate Iran's Shihab-3 intermediate-range
Officials said the Arrow-2 underwent its first night flight to test the
system's capability to respond and track enemy missiles fired after dark, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The Arrow can deal with the future threats of Iran and Syria as we see
them today," Col. Moshe Patel, deputy director of the Israel Missile Defense
Organization, said. "I think that Israelis can sleep soundly."
"The Arrow weapon system marked tonight an important milestone by
completing another successful test," the Defense Ministry said on late
Sunday. "The test, the 15th for the interceptor, the tenth for the complete
weapon system, is part of the Arrow System Improvement Program, ASIP,
conducted jointly by Israel and the United States."
The statement said the test aimed to widen the Arrow's interception
envelope as well as ensure integrated operational configuration of two
missile defense batteries. The ministry said the target missile simulated a
"yet non-existent ballistic missile operating under extreme conditions."
"The target trajectory demonstrated an operational scenario and all the
system's components performed in their operational configuration," the
Officials said the Arrow's fire control radar acquired the target
missile and relayed data to the battle management command and control, or
BMC. The launcher received mission command instructions and the interceptor
"We have deemed this a complete success," Uri Sinai, manager of IAI's
MLM division, said. "In this test, we simulated a very difficult threat,
more dangerous than in the past. The Arrow system is meant to deal with a
range of threats. The question of the nuclear threat is the main target of
the Arrow missile."
The Arrow-2 test took place at 9:18 p.m. in southern Israel, officials
said. They said the target missile was the Black Sparrow, produced by the
state-owned Rafael, Israel Armament Development Authority, and fired from an
Israel Air Force F-15 fighter-jet.
The Arrow-2 launcher was located at the Palmahim air force base south of
Tel Aviv. Officials said the interception of the Black Sparrow took place
over the Mediterranean Sea.
The Defense Ministry said this was the first test of the Arrow-2
interceptor produced in the
United States. Boeing and the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries have
been prime contractors of the Arrow-2, enhanced to confront Iranian
Officials said the Arrow-2 maintained a higher altitude than its
predecessor in an attempt to intercept enemy missiles with nuclear warheads.
They said the interceptor was also equipped with a software upgrade.
The Arrow-2 system was deployed in northern Israel during the Lebanon
war in mid-2006. But the system was not used, and military sources said the
radar failed to track medium-range rockets fired by Hizbullah from Lebanon.
On Monday, Palestinian gunners fired five Kassam-class short-range missiles
IAI's Elta Electronic Industries has produced the fire control radar for
the Arrow-2. Tadiran Systems developed the BMC as well as the launch control
center. Israel Military Industries produced the first-stage engine, and
Rafael completed the second-stage engine.