For second time in five weeks, engineers abort Arrow 3 test
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For second time in five weeks, engineers abort Arrow 3 test

Data transfer problem blamed for latest delay after safety concerns kept anti-ballistic missile grounded in December

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Arrow 3 missile defense system that was delivered to the Israeli Air Force on January 18, 2017. (Defense Ministry)
The Arrow 3 missile defense system that was delivered to the Israeli Air Force on January 18, 2017. (Defense Ministry)

Engineers on Wednesday aborted a test of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile because of a data transfer problem, the Defense Ministry said.

It was the second “no test” in just over a month, the ministry said in a statement.

In early December, a test was called off over safety concerns.

Defense Ministry officials said at the time that the target, known as Black Sparrow, which was supposed to simulate an incoming ballistic missile, did not fly at the proper altitude and so an interception could have put nearby aircraft at risk.

A “no test” result logged by the chief engineer is distinct from a failed test, as the Arrow 3 interceptor missile is not launched.

Complemented by a number of other missile defense systems, designed to protect Israel from short-, medium- and long-range attacks, the Arrow 3 system, which was declared operational last January, represents the highest level of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense network.

The system, which was developed in a joint Israeli-American program, is designed to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, taking out projectiles and their nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional warheads closer to their launch sites. It is a more advanced version of the Arrow and Arrow 2 systems.

The arrow 3, is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons of its kind in the world, and has been in development for nearly a decade, starting in 2008.

It was delivered to the Israeli Air Force in January 2017.

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