"Defense News": US spy planes delayed Israeli missile test

The test of IAI's Long Range Artillery missile was successfully held two days after US planes left the area.

"Defense News" reports in its latest issue that the presence of US spy planes in the so-called safety zone above the Mediterranean Sea prompted Israeli officials to delay a test of the Long Range Artillery (LORA) missile. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed the LORA. The test was conducted successfully two days after the US planes left the area.

"Defense News" cites Israeli defense and industry sources as saying that the LORA scored a dead-on hit of a sea-based target some 200 kilometers from the launch site on Israel’s coast. The test marked the third success out of four attempts, and demonstrated a range more than double the roughly 80 kilometers achieved in earlier tests.

Developed by IAI's Malam division, the LORA is satellite-guided, solid-fueled, with a takeoff weight of about 1,230 kilograms, including a 570-kilogram warhead.

"Defense News" says the Indian Army is a likely customer for initial export sales.

"Defense News" says the test of the LORA is the second straight success after an embarrassing failure in November 2003, when carelessness in IAI’s restricted-access control room resulted in the inadvertent commercial satellite broadcast of video and voice recordings related to the launch. Prior to that unintended public debut, LORA had been classified as a sensitive development system for the Israel Navy and Ground Forces.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on March 8, 2005

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