IAI tests short-range ballistic missile, hitting 2 small floating targets at sea

Defense contractor deems trials of its LORA system a success, striking pads with ‘utmost precision’ from 90 and 400 kilometers away

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

The Israel Aerospace Industries defense contractor performed two tests with one of its short-range ballistic missiles at sea on Tuesday, successfully hitting floating targets at two distances, the firm said.

The Long-Range Artillery Weapon System, known by the acronym LORA, was fired first at a target 90 kilometers (56 miles) away and then at a target 400 kilometers (250 miles) away, IAI said.

“Under both scenarios, the missile was launched to its trajectory, navigated its course to the target, and hit it with utmost precision,” the company said in a statement.

The firm said the trials were conducted at sea for safety reasons and that the launches were done remotely due to coronavirus restrictions. They were fired from aboard a ship, but using a land launcher and with a command and control trailer nearby.

A LORA ballistic missile, produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries defense firm, strikes a target at sea during a test on June 2, 2020. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

“Both the weapon system and the missile successfully met all of the trial’s objectives,” the firm said.

The LORA system completed its first trials in 2017, also at sea, ahead of that year’s Paris Air Show.

A LORA ballistic missile, produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries defense firm, is test-fired at sea on June 2, 2020. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

The missile was developed by IAI’s Systems, Missiles & Space Group, also known by the Hebrew acronym MALAM, which is best known for its air defense systems, including the Arrow 2 and 3 and the Barak 8.

According to the company, the LORA has a range of 400 kilometers and is accurate to within 10 meters.

Both Israel and Azerbaijan are believed to operate the system, though IAI has expressed interest in selling it to other countries.

“The complex trial, performed under COVID-19 limitations, demonstrated the advanced capabilities of both IAI and LORA, our strategic missile system. The trial was executed according to a fully functional design, which tested the system’s maneuvering, strike, and precision, as well as technological developments and enhancements introduced by our engineers,” said Boaz Levy, an IAI vice president and head of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group.

Most Popular
read more: