Israel Tests New Upgraded Missile Engine, Aims to Develop Capabilities for Hypersonic Missile

By Arie Egozi

Missiles

Tel Aviv: As part of the Israeli effort to improve the performance of its ballistic missiles and to get the capabilities to develop an hypersonic missile, a test was performed on June 24 of a new upgraded missile engine.

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The test was carried out by the Israeli ministry of defence from the Israeli Palmachim air base in central Israel that is the main site for missile tests and satellite launch. The official release said, “Israel has conducted a routine pre-scheduled test of a rocket system from Israel costal test range. The test was carried out as planned.”

All the engines for the Israeli advanced missiles and launchers are manufactured by Tomer, a state owned company. Tomer is currently working on enhancing the well-tuned Shavit satellite launcher so that it can launch larger payloads into space. As of right now, the 350 kg or so Ofek satellites are known to be carried by the Shavit rocket. Lifting larger items into orbit would facilitate the building and deployment of upgraded satellites with better radar and higher-resolution cameras.

The Shavit launcher used to put the Ofek satellites in orbit is derived from the Israel Jericho ballistic missiles. According to the foreign media, the latest version of the locally made Jericho ballistic missile has a range of up to 6000 km.

Israel is also developing the Arrow 4 interceptor. All these systems need very advanced propulsion units and these are being developed by Tomer in full cooperation with the system’s manufacturer, IAI or Rafael.

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By creating a propulsion system that can function both within and outside of the atmosphere and maintain speeds that significantly beyond the speed of sound, Mach 5 and above, the business is also thinking about venturing into the hypersonic speed domain. The threat posed by hypersonic missiles is now too great for current defensive systems to handle. Such a system has already been shown by Russia.