Friday, August 27, 2004

Arrow-2 test not complete failure

Israel and United States defense ministries continue to investigate the causes for the failure of Arrow interceptor missile to hit its target in experiments in California Thursday.

Aryeh Herzog, head of the Arrow project in the Israel's Defense Ministry, said in an interview Friday morning that this definitely cannot be describes as a failed experiment, even though the Arrow missile did not succeed in hitting its target.

'This sort of mishap can happen to any interceptor missile, and could have happened in the previous experiment too. It has nothing to do with the abilities of the missile. But at the same time, we of course want every trial to be successful, and this trial did not succeed completely.'

The latest attempts to launch an Arrow 2 missile against a Scud D like missile with a warhead that separates in flight in order to confuse the defending interceptor that took place at Point Mugu off the US West coast on Thursday.

The failed attempt came after the two countries launched a successful Arrow 2 missile test that intercepted and destroyed a live Scud B missile over the Pacific Ocean at then end of July. The Scud D missile considered to be the most sophisticated missile of its kind is in Syria's hands. Thursday's failed attempt was the thirteenth operational testing of the system since it was built and the eighth time its weapons system was tested.

The Arrow-2 is geared to intercept an enemy missile as it reenters the earth's atmosphere, far from Israeli territory. On Thursday it failed to hit its target.

A statement issued by the Defense Ministry said the aim of the test was to intercept a dummy target and compile data essential for future development, and that this goal was achieved despite the fact that the missile failed to intercept. According to the statement the surrogate target used in Thursday's test was supplied by the MDA targets office and was air launched."