Expert: Missile Defense Drill Wasn't a Failure

Director and founder of Arrow Defense Program says while recent simulations were unsuccessful, there's no need to panic.

Gedalyah Reback ,

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at Arrow 2 tes
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at Arrow 2 tes
Flash 90

It was reported last Tuesday that last year's missile tests for the developing Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 anti-missile systems had been misreported as successes, when in fact they had both failed.

The two systems will be used to combat missile threats from the likes of Iran against rockets that have not left the Earth's atmosphere in Arrow 2's case, and will neutralize missiles before they reenter the atmosphere in the case of Arrow 3.

But to say that the tests "failed" is a misunderstanding accounting to Uzi Rubin, the founder and director of the Arrow Defense Program and researcher at the Begin Sedat Center for Strategic Studies.

"It's a misconception. The Arrow 3 test was not conducted because of there was a failure to achieve the necessary conditions to conduct the test itself." He clarified that this can't be understood to be a failure considering that these conditions depend on many things and are sometimes beyond control.

As for the Arrow 2 test, he explained it differently, saying that while it is a failure in the sense that the anti-missile system didn't perform, tests of systems like this have to have their success defined in terms of the data they gleaned.

"Again, I'm afraid this is a misconception. Success in missile tests aren't merely determined by whether or not the system worked perfectly. It also depends on if you gained any data; if you learned anything from the test. It would be more of a failure if we didn't understand what happened. But here, success can be determined by the data."

It was reported today that the Israeli Defense Ministry put in a request for an additional $300 million to fund the development of these systems. The request was made straight to the US Congress.

Rubin was quick to point out that these requests are now standard and likely are not related to any dramatic problems in the development of either Arrow interception system.