Israeli officials admit ''Arrow'' system should be upgraded in order to intercept Iranian missiles
"There is a need to upgrade the capabilities of the Arrow missile so that it can intercept the Iranian Shihab missile; its interception ability is currently limited", according to representatives of the Arrow missile program that briefed the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, on the experiment that took place last weekend in the United States.
Head of the Arrow project, Yair Ramati, thanked the committee during the Tuesday meeting for its success in convincing the U.S. congress to add $82 million to the mutual production of the Arrow by the Israeli Aircraft Industries and Boeing Company in the U.S.
In a test that took place last week, an Arrow missile successfully intercepted a Scud missile, which was launched from a vessel in an experimental field of the U.S. navy in California. In the course of the experiment, the Arrow was launched from an island in the Pacific ocean, located dozens of kilometers from California's shores.
The Arrow Interceptor is the first missile that was specifically designed and built to destroy ballistic missiles on a national level. It is aimed at becoming the first anti-ballistic missile system able to intercept its targets so high in the stratosphere. The Arrow ABM system was designed and constructed in Israel with financial support by the U.S. in a multi-billion dollar development program.
The system was designed and constructed after the massive failure of the anti-aircraft Patriot missile system to properly intercept and destroy the Scud missiles fired by Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991.
Iran's Shihab-3 ground-to-ground rocket has an effective range beyond 1,300-kilometers, meaning it can reach Israel.
Iran has also plans for two longer-range missiles: a Shihab-4, with a 2,000-kilometer range and a Shihab-5, with a 5,500-kilometer range. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)