Sparrow (target missile)

The Sparrow (Hebrew: אנקור, pronounced [ankor]) target missile is an Israeli medium-range air-launched ballistic missile produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.[1] The missile is currently used as a target missile to test the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system.[2][3][4] The missile has a modular warhead section and is capable of carrying a high-explosive warhead.[5]


There are three versions of the missile: Black Sparrow, Blue Sparrow, and Silver Sparrow.[5] The Silver Sparrow version is designed to simulate Iranian Shahab-3 class ballistic missiles with a 1,500-2,000 km range.[5][6]

The Silver Sparrow version was first tested on September 2, 2013.[7] The launch from the Mediterranean was detected by a Russian ballistic missile early warning radar at Armavir,[8] followed by Israeli acknowledgement of the test over an hour later.[7]

Another reported test took place out on September 9, 2014 with a Sparrow missile fired from the central part of the Mediterranean, being detected by the Armavir Radar Station.[9]


  1. Daniel Estrin (September 3, 2013). "Israel and US test Sparrow missile in Mediterranean". Christian Science Monitor. Associated Press.
  2. Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Alastair Jamieson (September 3, 2013). "Amid Syria tension, Israel test-fires missile over Mediterranean Sea". NBC News.
  3. ""Black Sparrow" Target Missile". Arrow Weapon System. Israel Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  4. Joshua Mitnick (September 3, 2013). "US-Israel missile test as Syria war tensions rise (+video)". Christian Science Monitor.
  5. "Israel Tests a new Target Missile Simulating Iranian Shihab 3 Missiles". Defense Update. September 3, 2013.
  6. Alon Ben-David (September 9, 2013). "Israeli Missile Test Triggers Russian Warning System". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  7. Alisa Odenheimer & Calev Ben-David (September 3, 2013). "Israel Carried Out Test Missile Launch: Defense Ministry". Bloomberg.
  8. Scott Rose (Sep 3, 2013). "Russia Detected Missiles Launched in Mediterranean, RIA Says". Bloomberg.
  9. "Joint US-Israeli missile test over Mediterranean picked up by Russian radar". RT. September 9, 2014.

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