TEHRAN, May 29, YJC - Israel has launched a rocket to test a new propulsion system, with military officials refusing to say whether it was successful or not.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
In a brief statement on Monday, the military said the test was "arranged in advance by the security services and was carried out as planned.”
Eyewitnesses said it took place at the Palmachim airbase as the rocket left a trail visible for kilometers.
The military did not provided further details on the nature of the test or rocket system being tested. Rocket propulsion systems are often designed to launch large systems such as satellites and ballistic missiles.
The system could also be used on ground-to-ground missiles such as Israel's Jericho which is reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It could also be installed in ground-to-air missiles like the Arrow.
Israel maintains a policy of secrecy about its atomic weapons program but the regime is widely believed to possess at least 200 nuclear warheads.
Tel Aviv is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), preventing international inspectors from visiting its atomic weapons installations.
The US is a key partner in Israel's military projects as well as a financier. In December, US Congress approved $600 million for Israel's missile program for the 2017 fiscal year.
The funds are intended for research and development in missile and rocket programs as well as procurement of Iron Dome rocket system and David’s Sling and Arrow long-range missile systems.