US Missile Defense Agency offered Blue Sparrow targets

Tel Aviv
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Rafael and Raytheon are offering the Israeli company's Blue Sparrow air-launched target to the US Missile Defense Agency.

Developed for use in support of the Israel Aerospace Industries Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, the Blue Sparrow is being promoted to the MDA because some of its current targets have failed during tests, an industry source says.

The offer under consideration includes the launch of four Blue Sparrows from an adapted passenger aircraft. "This will allow us to test defence systems against salvoes of ballistic missiles," the source says.

The Blue Sparrow can simulate bulk chemical or high-explosive warheads, and is equipped with a GPS/INS navigation system. The advanced target has post-boost phase three axis attitude control system and a mid-air pointing capability.

Last year the French defence ministry purchased Black Sparrow systems from Rafael, with the type to be used soon in a planned test activity.