Israel’s missile defense organization (IMDO) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed today a successful flight test of the Silver Sparrow, the latest, most advanced version of the Sparrow target missile family. The test, conducted at the Israeli test range over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was the first test flight of the new missile.
The missile was launched from an airborne platform on 9:15, after an ascent the missile entered the trajectory, in according with the test plan. Through its flight the Silver Sparrow was tracked by the Arrow Weapon System’s Super Green Pine radar, which transferred the information to the Citron Tree Battle Management Control System. According to the IMOD announcement, all the elements of the system performed according to their operational configuration.
The Silver Sparrow developed by RAFAEL is an advanced version of the Sparrow air-launched ballistic target missile’. The Sparrow targets have a modular warhead section carrying different payloads such as inert, high explosive or water. The 27.5 (8.39 mw) long missile weighs over three tons and is designed to simulate Shihab 3 class missiles (Iranian ballistic missiles with 1,500-2,000 km range). The new target is an essential segment in the testing of the Arrow-3 exo-atmospheric interceptor.
The Silver Sparrow uses a single stage solid rocket propellant, and shares a common reentry vehicle with the mid-range Blue Sparrow. The Silver Sparrow is also considered as a candidate for air-launching of RAFAEL’s future LiteSat micro-satellite, providing Operationally Responsive Space capability supporting ad-hoc requirement for satellite imagery.
IMDO and the U.S. MDA officials conducted the flight test. The main contractor for the integration and development of the sparrow is Rafael end the main contractor of the arrow weapon system is MLM of the aerospace industries (IAI) in conjunction with Boeing.
The test was conducted at a time of high tension in the region, with Russian and NATO naval forces massing off the Syrian coast. An earlier report by Moscow has indicated the Russian sensors have detected two ballistic missiles launched from the same region of the Mediterranean sea. However, Russian sources in Damascus were quick to affirm that there was no evidence of a missile strike on Syria. The announcement revealed the fact that the Russians are providing early warning to the Syrians, about potentially threatening activities over the East Mediterranean.