WASHINGTON (Jul. 19)
American military officials say they do not consider last week’s aborted testing of the Israeli-designed Arrow anti-missile missile to be a failure.
The sixth Arrow test flight was aborted after a target missile veered off course and engineers canceled the launching of an Arrow meant to intercept the first one in midair.
American support and funding for the project were feared to have been threatened by the technical mishap, but American military officials were quoted as saying they considered the aborted testing to be a “no test” rather than a “failure.”
“The test required a target presented under conditions. The conditions were not met. The test was stopped and the Arrow was not fired. We consider this a ‘no test’ and will reschedule,” the U.S. Army said in a public affairs statement.
It is unlikely that Israel would be able to continue the missile development project if U.S. aid were withdrawn.
Security sources in Israel said they hoped the next Arrow test would be carried out within two or three months.
Last week’s aborted trial was the latest in a planned series of 11 tests to be carried out by the end of 1995, when developmental research is projected to be completed and production started.
Two previous test flights of the Arrow missile were regarded as successful, but came after several unsuccessful trials.