Israel Tests Enhanced Ballistic Missile

By Alon Ben David
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Almost immediately following that event, Israel introduced the Shavit satellite launch vehicle (SLV), which was apparently developed in parallel to the Jericho. The Shavit 1 three-stage SLV was used in 1988 to launch the experimental Ofeq-1 satellite and placed it in low Earth orbit. After three failures of the Shavit, Israel developed an improved SLV, the Shavit-2, used to launch the Ofeq-7 reconnaissance satellite in 2007 and the Ofeq-9 in 2010.

The Jericho III is believed to be derived from the Shavit-2 SLV, developed and manufactured by IAI's MLM Div., with Israel Military Industries Givon Div. developing the rocket engine for the first and second stage, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. producing the engine for the third stage.

Perceived to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, Israel has vowed to prevent its archenemy Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.

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