Reuters reports that the latest test launch of Israel’s most sophisticated long-range missile defense system, the Arrow 3, failed. The missile was supposed to lock on to its target, but failed to do so and the launch was cancelled to save the $3-5-million expense of the missile. This is a jointly-developed Israeli-American weapon in which the U.S. has invested at least $1-billion.
Since the failure of Israeli weapons systems is a highly embarrassing phenomenon for the IDF, it will simply obfuscate or lie outright about such developments. True to form, it released this statement which allowed Israelis to read whatever they wanted into it:
Israel’s Defence Ministry said that “within the framework of preparations for a future interception test, a target missile was launched and carried out its trajectory successfully”.
It later added, in a statement, that “the conditions had not been ripe for launching an interceptor missile”.
Israeli defense reporter Yossi Melman was none too happy with the air force’s dissembling. He titled his Jerusalem Post article: Israel’s defense establishment lies about failed missile test – again. He didn’t mince words here:
The test failed, but the Defense Ministry issued a statement a few hours after the test claiming the target missile had been successfully launched on its designated course. The statement said nothing about the canceled launching of the intercepting missile, which together with the interception itself are the most important phases of any test. The ministry thus created the impression that the entire test was successful.
Astonishingly, the defense ministry public affairs flack argued before journalists that since the interceptor wasn’t actually launched, the test should be labelled “no test,” rather than a failure. This, friends, is how the national security state works. Just like the man caught cheating on his wife who tells her when she walks in on him with another woman: “who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” Melman and a few other reporters know what happened. But the army will do its damndest to make the rest of the nation believe a lie.
This is the second failure in a row of an Arrow test firing. In September, an Arrow 2 interceptor failed to hit its target.