Israel Battles Enemies Seen and Unseen with Missile Test During COVID Crisis

Illustrative naval ship in the Middle East. By Joshua Spurlock

The coronavirus may have led to mass shutdowns across the State of Israel, but it hasn’t shut down Israel’s efforts to improve their self-defense. On Tuesday, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a successful test of the Long-Range Artillery (LORA) Weapon System, all while maintaining COVID-19 restrictions. The LORA missile hit targets at both 90 km (55 miles) and 400 km (248 miles away) in tests conducted at sea.

A press release on the IAI website said the tests, which included remote management due to the COVID-19 restrictions, were a success as the missile both times “launched to its trajectory, navigated its course to the target, and hit it with utmost precision.”

IAI weren’t the only ones happy with the test results—so was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Parallel with our war on corona, we are continuing to safeguard Israel’s security—on defense and offense,” said Netanyahu in a statement released by his office. “Well done to IAI and the defense establishment. Today’s successful test is good news for the citizens of Israel and more bad news for Israel’s enemies.”

The IAI said the LORA system has both ground-to-ground and sea-to-ground attack capabilities using a long-range ballistic missile, a system for command and control and a “ground/marine support system”. Boaz Levy, IAI’s EVP and General Manager of the Systems, Missiles and Space Group, was quoted in the press release as thanking the Israeli Navy, Air Force and Ministry of Defense for their “collaboration and assistance in this trial.”

“The complex trial, performed under COVID-19 limitations, demonstrated the advanced capabilities of both IAI and LORA, our strategic missile system,” said Levy. “…Performing a trial with this level of complexity during these days is a testament to IAI’s unwavering commitment to our clients across the globe. The impressive results of the trial prove the system’s maturity and state-of-the-art capabilities.”

IAI isn’t new to the missile development world. Previously it has been involved in the Arrow 2 and 3 missile defense systems, as well as other missile and satellite technology. It also co-built the Beresheet spacecraft that reached the moon in 2019.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 2, 2020)

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