A long range missile intercept test utilizing the Improved Arrow-2 was aborted yesterday (July 22, 2009) after one of the communications channels failed to link with the interceptor. The test, the first long range intercept test was conducted at a test range in the California, at the west coast of the United States. Despite the failure, the test provided a valuable opportunity to exercise the Arrow Weapon System interoperability with other elements of the U. S. Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), including the Terminal High Altitude Area (THAAD) Program, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program and the Patriot (PAC-3) Program.
The first phase of the test went smoothly. Simulating a future, long-range ballistic missile threat, a target missile was dropped from a C-17 aircraft. The early warning and fire control radar detected the target and transferred its tracks to the battle management control center. The Arrow Weapon System and the BMDS elements exchanged data in real-time on the target. However, just before firing the Arrow, a communications failure developed, causing launch abort. The test continued under a simulative mode, with by the Aegis destroyer, USS Benfold (DDG 65) which also participated in the test.