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12:19 PM, December 5, 2017
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Arrow missile system target interception: Illustration via Wikipedia

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) canceled a test of the Arrow 3 missile, designed to adapt the system to precision targeting missiles being developed by Iran, following the malfunction of a target missile.

The trial which was planned to take place Monday from the Palmachim base, but was cancelled because of a malfunction in the Sparrow target missile designed to resemble an enemy missile, Globes newspaper reported.

The launching of the Arrow 3 toward the target missile had been canceled as the launched target did not meet the safety conditions set in advance, the newspaper said in comments attributed to the MoD.

The test was planned as part of the annual work plan of the MoD’s Homa Administration (Israel Missile Organization) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA). It was designed to test the future capabilities of Arrow 3 missiles, especially the operational response to new ballistic missiles designed to threaten Israel in the coming years, including a long-range precision missile being developed by Iran's military industries.

Monday’s test was planned to have taken place at a height of several hundred kilometers, a height at which an Israeli weapons system had never before been tested, the newspaper commented.

Before the test, an Israeli F-15 plane flying over the sea launched a Sparrow target missile which did not behave the way that the test planners expected, and the interceptor missile was therefore not launched from the Palmachim base.

Defense sources explained to Globes that the main consideration leading to the test cancelation at the last minute was concern that intercepting the target missile would cause a serious security event, due to uncontrolled dispersal of fragments over a large area, which could jeopardize airplane traffic.

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