Israel`s Arrow II missile aborted thrice
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 20:54
Jerusalem: In a setback to Israel's defence preparedness, Tel Aviv's newly upgraded Arrow II missile defence system, in which India is also said to have evinced keen interest, failed at least three tests over the past week due to 'technical glitches'.

The tests were conducted at a US range off the California coast. The Pentagon said that the first long-range test for the system that was supposed to intercept long range Iranian and Syrian missiles from there launch point thousands of kilometres away, could not be launched because of "interceptor problems".

The Israeli defence establishment said the problems preventing the launch came from "malfunctions in the communications system." "Not all test conditions to launch the Arrow Interceptor were met and it was not launched," the Pentagon said. Three tests in the US of the missile defence system have been aborted over the past week, Israel said.

The Arrow II was meant to intercept a dummy Iranian Shahab missile, they said, adding that the US officials stopped the launch of the intercepting missile because of a communications glitch.

In a test involving three US missile interceptors, Arrow tracked a target missile dropped from a C-17 aircraft, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The Israeli system also exchanged data on the target in real-time with elements of the US missile defence system, the statement said.

Other objectives were achieved and the results were being analysed, the Pentagon added.

Israel in April successfully tested the Arrow II anti-ballistic missile system. The Arrow missile intercepted a Blue Sparrow missile simulating the flight path of an Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile over the Mediterranean.

It was the first test of an upgraded Arrow missile combined with new radar, the X-band radar the United States installed in the Negev eight months ago, and a new command and control system.

Upgrades to Arrow, which has already been deployed at two sites in Israel, are widely seen as part of US efforts to persuade Israel not to attack Iran pre-emptively while Washington pursues diplomacy with Tehran.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 20:54

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