Skip to comments.Israel Successfully Test 4 Arrow Interceptor Missiles
Posted on 01/05/2003 3:28:22 PM PST by Paul Ross
|w w w . h a a r e t z d a i l y . c o m|
Israel successfully test-launches 4 Arrow interceptor missiles
The Israel Air Force on Sunday successfully launched four Arrow interceptor missiles nearly simultaneously from a base in the center of the country. The approximately $10 million test launching was the first time Israel fired more than one Arrow missile in the same attempt.
The attempt was meant to test the missile launcher's ability to dispatch four missiles - one of them armed with a warhead - to different targets.
Security sources have said they are convinced that the Arrow - which can travel at nine times the speed of sound to intercept hostile warheads as far as 30 miles away from their targets, according to an American Israel Public Affairs Committee report - can intercept any Iraqi missile, including Scuds.
Representatives of the Arrow developers participated, as did Air Force officers and anti-aircraft missile operators. The Navy stood by as well, since the missiles were launched toward the west, over the sea. As in previous test launchings, American defense officials observed.
Air Force chief Major General Dan Halutz said Sunday that Iraq's capabilities at present are limited, and that the IAF is prepared to deal with the possibility of an Iraqi attack on Israel. "We think about what could come our way, but we predict that it won't be too serious. Iraq has limited aerial and missile capabilities, and we are also preparing for any surprises," Halutz said. Prior to the Arrow test-launch, Halutz said that a successful launch would prove Israel's improved and higher-quality response to surface-to-surface missiles.
Dozens of American soldiers have arrived in Israel over the last few days for a joint exercise between Israeli and American anti-aircraft forces that will start this week and is meant to test the cooperation between the two countries.
Defense officials have set the date for finishing defense preparations for January 15, and estimate the attack on Iraq will take place sometime between January 27 and the beginning of March. They say the threat of a direct Iraqi attack on Israel is much lower now than it was in the 1991 Gulf War, but are worried about major terror attacks, possibly under Iraq's direction, that could take place during a war.
I truly hope we and the Israelis are sharing the information gained from both countries research. I suspect we are.