News

ISRAEL LINE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1998

ISRAEL SUCCESSFULLY TESTS ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE

On Monday, Israel completed the first successful comprehensive test of the Arrow-2 anti-missile missile, HA'ARETZ reported. The missile was launched from the Israel Air Force field at Palmachim, destroying a simulated target "acquired" by the Arrow's fire-control radar system, code-named "Green Pine."

In the last test launch of the Arrow one year ago, the missile veered off course and the test was aborted. Danny Peretz, the Arrow's project director, said that following another one or two test launches, by 1999, Israel would have initial operational defense capability in an emergency.

A major impetus for the test launch was Iran's development of the Shihab-3 medium range ballistic missile, which it test-fired last July. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that in the wake of its successful test launch, Israel is one of the few countries in the world capable of providing its citizens with defense against ballistic missiles.

The U.S. is financing two-thirds of the estimated $1.6 billion cost of developing the Arrow program.