Rafael develops 'Silver Sparrow' target missile

Tel Aviv
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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Rafael has developed a new advanced target called the "Silver Sparrow" that will be used as part of Israel's Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile interceptor programme.

The third generation of Rafael's target missiles, the new design follows earlier systems called Black Sparrow and Blue Sparrow. It is intended to test the performance of Israel Aerospace Industries' new Arrow 3 interceptor, which will perform its first fly-out next year.

The Arrow 3 is a totally new missile that will intercept incoming ballistic missiles using a kinetic kill technique, instead of proximity warhead detonation, as used in Israel's current Arrow 2 system.

Little is known about the design of the Arrow 3, but sources have previously said it will be "very energetic" and have "super-manoeuvrability", enabling it to change its trajectory to engage another target detected after launch.

Sources say Israel's Arrow 3s will be deployed in parallel with its Arrow 2 system, and the type of missile launched will be determined by the fire control system.

The need for a longer-range kinetic kill interceptor stems from the threat posed to Israel by the Scud-type missiles with a 216-325nm (400-600km) range that Syria deploys and weapons with a 1,080nm range, such as Iran's Shihab series.

Israel's air force recently fielded its first two batteries of Rafael-produced Iron Dome missiles to protect the country against attack by unguided short-range rockets.