Tomer is an Israeli state-owned defense firm that produces propulsion systems for missiles and rockets, including the Shavit satellite launcher and the EXTRA artillery rocket. Videos circulated on social media Tuesday morning of a large explosion occurring at the factory with speculation that it was a form of retaliation by Iran.
Tomer has come forward maintaining that the images spread on Iranian media were misleading, and that the explosion was part of a deliberate and “controlled” trial geared towards developing rocket technology.
“This was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances,” Tomer claimed in response to the blasts, which resulted in no property damages or injuries.
However, according to Haaretz, it is believed that officials may have underestimated the collateral damage of the test, hence the explosion.
The blast occurred outside of the central Israeli town of Ramle and came with no prior announcements, which resulted in speculation that the explosion was the result of a malfunction or sabotage.
The explosion came in the wake of increased tensions between Israel and Iran that have escalated over the past week, leaving many local residents on edge after the massive Tomer explosion left a cloud of fire and smoke.
Tomer is affiliated with the Israeli Ministry of Defense and has manufactured the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile systems, which are capable of intercepting incoming missiles in the atmosphere and space. In February, Israel announced that it would be developing the Arrow-4 with the United States.
“The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement at the time.
According to PressTV, an investigation has been launched by senior defense officials into the cause of the Tuesday morning explosion.