Russia’s early warning system in the southern Russian city of Armavir detected the launch of 2 missiles in the Mediterranean Sea this morning prompting the Israeli Defense Ministry to announce The Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency had “completed a successful flight test of the new version of the Sparrow target missile.” The announcement comes amid regional anxiety mounts over talk of a possible military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for their alleged use of chemical weapons in August.
Reports later confirmed two Sparrow target missiles launched from an Israeli air force Boeing F-15 during a joint Israeli/US test, performed as part of the development of the Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor.
Defense Ministry statement:
“This is the first flight out test of this new version of the Sparrow, and was conducted at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea. The Arrow weapon system’s Super Green Pine radar successfully detected and tracked the target while transferring the information to the Citron Tree battle management control system. All the elements of the system performed according to their operational configuration,” the ministry said.
U.S. officials denied involvement saying what occurred was an “expected Israeli system test” and it was up to the Israelis to explain exactly what they were testing. A U.S. military official stressed that “this did not involve U.S. forces. No ballistic missile launch has been detected. None at our ships and none by our ships. There have been no offensive or defensive missile launches by the U.S. military.”
Russia’s state-run news outlet RIA Novosti said the targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean and fell into the sea.