(HAARETZ) The Arrow anti-ballistic missile system being developed by Israel and the United States Thursday failed a test to destroy a target missile simulating an Iranian Shihab-3 and a Scud-D of the type Syria possesses. The test at Point Mogu off the California coast came about a month after a successful test in which a Scud missile was destroyed in a direct hit. Defense Ministry director-general Amos Yaron said Thursday night that the test was substantive. “Most of the systems tested worked. There was a malfunction that needs to be sorted out, and we will continue to prepare to meet development of any future threats.
At 10:30 California time, a C-17 cargo plane dropped the American target missile. A short while later, the missile warhead separated from its engine, at an altitude of dozens of kilometers. The aim was for the Arrow to distinguish between the missile engine and warhead, intercept the warhead and blow it up.
The Israeli monitoring center found that the Arrow succeeded in identifying the warhead in time, but the intercept failed because of an unidentified malfunction, possibly in the guidance system.
Aryeh Herzog, the Defense Ministry official in charge of the Arrow project, said from California that the systemic test was a success, with the Arrow proving itself capable of dealing with a separating target – between the warhead and the missile engine.