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Arrow Destroys Missile In Test

On November 1, 1999, a successful test of the Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile was conducted by the Israeli Air Force. The test included all of the Arrow’s systems and components. This was the seventh test launch, and the first in which it hit a real incoming missile.

The target was a simulation of a Scud missile fired from a ship at sea. Preliminary analysis of the results show that all of the system’s components, including the Arrow missile itself, the Citron Tree fire management system and Green Pine fire control radar systems operated properly and achieved all of their test objectives. The Green Pine fire control radar obtained the target and the Citron Tree calculated the intercept, upon which the Arrow hit and destroyed the target.

The Arrow is designed to intercept incoming missiles roughly 30-60 miles from cities. The warhead is designed to destroy the incoming missile even if it doesn't make a direct hit, but comes within roughly 150 feet of the target.

The successful test is a significant milestone for the Homa program and in the operational deployment of the Arrow which is intended to provide anti-ballistic missile defense for the State of Israel. It is now expected the Arrow will be deployed in a limited operational "emergency" capacity in early 2000. When it is deployed, Israel will become the first country with an anti-ballistic missile capability.

Israel originally planned to deploy two Arrow batteries, but has received a promise of support from the United States for funding for a third battery. In October, Congress approved spending $81.6 million for the Arrow project. The total cost of the 14-year project is expected to be $2 billion. Overall, the U.S. has provided 78 percent of the Arrow's funding.

Israel Defense Industry’s Malam is the primary contractor for the Arrow; the Green Pine and Citron Tree systems are being developed by Elta Electronics industries Ltd. and Tadiran Systems Ltd. respectively.

Sources: Israel Government Press Office (November 1, 1999) and Jerusalem Post (November 2, 1999)