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Monday, February 12, 2007

Arrow anti-missile system passes its first nighttime launch

Last update - 01:19 12/02/2007
Arrow anti-missile system passes its first nighttime launch
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

Israel successfully tested the Arrow anti-missile system Sunday night, in its first nighttime trial, intercepting a test target that simulated the warhead of a long-range Iranian surface-to-surface Shihab-3 missile.
Apparently coincidentally (because the timing of the trials are determined by weather conditions) the test was conducted on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Iranian revolution.
The coordinator of the Defense Ministry administration that was in charge of the project, Moshe Fattal, told Haaretz there was no connection with the Iranian event. "What is important is that the system worked under extreme conditions, simulating those that might exist in reality. This is a happy moment for us," he said.
This is the 15th test of the Arrow. The previous one, in December 2005, was also successful. Two Arrow batteries, one at Palmahim in the south and the other at Ein Shemer in the center of the country, tracked the missile with the help of a Patriot battery.
Deputy Chief of Staff Moshe Kaplinski and Israel Air Force Commander Elyezer Shkedy were at Palmahim during the trial, which took place at 9:18 P.M.
The Defense Ministry said that "the purpose of the test was to study the improved operational capabilities of the system, which include expansion of the intercept envelope against future targets that might threaten Israel. In this trial the system was examined in a combined operational configuration of two batteries that were at a geographical distance, while taking into consideration lessons learned in the past. The interceptor, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries and Boeing, was launched at night, simulating an operational scenario in all its components."

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