Israel is delaying plans to conduct a maiden flight intercept test of its next-generation Arrow 3 missile, which is designed for use against possible long-range ballistic missile attacks by Iran or other foes, United Press International reported on Tuesday.
Work on the interceptor is already one year off track. The Arrow 3 is a joint project of the U.S. defense giant Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries.
An initial all-systems trial that would involve launching the interceptor against a dummy threat had been intended to take place in September but has been pushed back to late 2012, according to Space News.
Israel Aerospace Industries is not saying why the test has been delayed. The reason might not be minor, according to the Israeli business website Globes, which reported the test interceptor had been sent back from the Palmachim Air Base launch complex to the Israeli defense firm to be fixed.
In August, Israeli media reported that a new line of radars, interceptors and associated equipment for connecting the Arrow 3 to U.S. antimissile assets was being put in place and that the work might take a while to complete. The Arrow 3 would be the top component of a four-part antimissile infrastructure, with the capacity to eliminate incoming ballistic missiles beyond the atmosphere.