On Tuesday Israel unveiled a home-produced air-to-air missile which the Israelis claim among the best in the world.
On Tuesday Israel unveiled a home-produced air-to-air missile which the Israelis claim among the best in the world. A representative of Israel's Armament Development Authority of the Ministry of Defence (RAPHAEL) told pressmen the "Shafrir" air-to-air missile was entirely Israeli designed and manufactured. He added that Israel was ready to sell "Shafrir" to other countries at around 19,000 dollars (7,700 pounds sterling) per missile together with its system.
The name of the missile "Shafrir" is taken from the Hebrew word for Dragonfly. The weapon is about 8 feet long (2.5 metres) and is the latest in a line of new israeli arms to be disclosed. Others include the "Gabtriel" sea-to-sea missile, the "Galil" automatic rifle and the "Reshef" missile boats.
The "Shafrir" missile uses solid fuel and has an entirely solid-state electronic system. Irs infra-red guidance system seeks out heat emissions from its target. According to the RAPHAEL spokesman the pilot has practically no need of training in its use.
The weapon weighs 205 pounds (93 kg). This includes the splinter warhead which weighs 24 pounds (11 kg). The Director General of Raphael said that "Shafrir" had first been used operationally in the summer of 1969. He added that it had brought down an Egyptian Mig-21 on its first day of use.
SYNOPSIS: For the past four years Israeli warplanes have been equipped with the "Shafrir" air-to-air missile, a weapon designed and built entirely in Israel. This was claimed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday by a spokesman for RAPHAEL, Israel's Armament Development Authority of the Ministry of Defence. The spokesman added that Israel was now ready to sell "Shafrir" to other countries.
"Shafrir", taken from the Hebrew word for Dragonfly, is powered by solid fuel. It has an entirely solid-state electronic system. With its splinter warhead, the weapon weighs just over two hundred pounds, and is about eight feet long. "Shafrir" is the latest in a line of new weapons to be disclosed by Israel. Others include the "Gabriel" sea-to-sea missile and "Galil" automatic rifle.
According to the Defence Authority, aircraft pilots need no special training in the use of "Shafrir". It has already been fitted to Israel's French and American combat aircraft.
Audio and visual signals tell the pilot when the missile is lacked on target.
All that is left is to press the button.
"Shafrir's" guided systems work on the infra-red principle, seeking the heat omitted from the target aircraft.
Israel has claimed the "Shafrir" brought down an Egyptian fighter when first used four years ago.