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Israel`s Arrow II missile aborted thrice

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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