Israeli anti-missile system suffers rare setback

Sunday, July 26, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's Arrow anti-ballistic missile system being developed together with the US military suffered a rare setback last week when a test launch of the system's interceptor missile failed.

The test, which was carried out off the western coast of the US, simulated an Iranian ballistic missile strike. The Arrow system successfully detected and tracked the missile, but a technical malfunction prevented its interceptor missile from being fired.

Prior to that failure, the Arrow had undergone a string of 17 successful tests, most of them in Israel. The latest test in April proved that the Arrow could detect and track missile launches from as far away as Iran, but the interceptor was not tested at that time.

With the interceptor portion of the Arrow currently unable to be deployed at this time, Israel's hoped for missile shield remains unrealized.

Israel hopes that when completed, the shield will act as a deterrent to Iran and other regional foes. US military officials hope that the shield will be enough, and that Israel will back off plans to protect itself by using force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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