Image: Arrow launch
U.S. Navy  /  AP
An Arrow anti-ballistic missile interceptor is launched Thursday from its mobile platform at the Point Mugu Sea Range in California.  The Arrow missile failed to intercept an air-launched missile over the Pacific and both fell into the water, a spokesman said.
updated 8/26/2004 10:55:20 PM ET 2004-08-27T02:55:20

An anti-ballistic missile under development by Israel and the United States missed its target Thursday in its latest test off the California coast, a spokesman said. A test last month off California was a success.

The Arrow missile failed to intercept an air-launched missile over the Pacific, and both fell into the water, said Chris Taylor, spokesman for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

“The engineers don’t yet know what happened,” Taylor said.

It was the 13th Arrow intercept test and the eighth test of the complete weapon system. Officials have not said how many of the tests have been successful.

Last month, an Arrow successfully hit a missile launched from a platform on the ocean range off Point Mugu, 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

The Arrow system was first deployed by Israel following the Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel.

In Thursday’s test, the Arrow was trying to hit a short-range, air-launched target. Taylor would only describe the target as representative of a threat that Israel might encounter.

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