David's Sling missile defense system. (Ministry of Defense) Ministry of Defense
David's Sling

The recent tests were conducted with the U.S. and proved that the system is can intercept threats simultaneously during conflict.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully completed a series of live-fire intercept tests of the David’s Sling weapon defense system, against threat-representative cruise and ballistic missiles, Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday.

The tests conducted were led by Rafael Advanced Systems from a testing site in central Israel, with the participation of the Israel Air Force (IAF) and Navy.

“This successful series is a critical milestone in the augmentation of Israel’s operational capabilities in defending itself against current and future threats,” the MoD stated.

The David’s Sling is designed to intercept mid-to-long-range ballistic missiles with ranges between 25-190 miles. The Iron Dome defense system intercepts short-range targets, and the Arrow series defends against long-range attacks.

The series tested the capabilities of a new and advanced version of the David’s Sling weapon system and included a number of scenarios simulating various threats.

The results of this test will enable IMDO and industry engineers to evaluate and upgrade the system’s capabilities.

The IMDO and Rafael also successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the Iron Dome in intercepting cruise missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and a variety of threats.

The test also demonstrated the interoperability of the multilayered air defense mechanism, including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.

“This indicates that the systems will be capable of intercepting threats simultaneously during conflict,” the MoD noted.

Representatives of the MDA and Israeli defense industries, and Israeli Air Force (IAF) soldiers, participated in the test. Rafael is the prime contractor for the development of the David’s Sling weapon system, in cooperation with the American Raytheon company. IAI’s Elta division developed the MMR radar and Elbit Systems developed the Golden Almond BMC.

David’s Sling is a significant component of Israel’s multi-layered air defense mechanism. The development of this mechanism is led by the IMDO and consists of four layers – Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3. These are all operational in the IAF. The David’s Sling was declared operational in April 2017.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz commended the successful tests, which “for the first time, assessed the combined interception capabilities of the multilayered air defense system of the State of Israel.”

Israel’s multi-layered air defense mechanism is “one of the most advanced in the world and it protects the state from threats near and far” and “provides Israel with a top tier strategic capability, enabling us to operate effectively in every scenario.”

Head of the IMDO Moshe Patel said that the series of tests were “unprecedented in their complexity.”

“Through these tests, we demonstrated that the State of Israel has a robust, multilayered capability to face a variety of threats – cruise missiles, UAVs and ballistic threats. For the first time, we have demonstrated a multi-layered approach to dealing with threats – an approach that employs the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow weapon systems. Using this approach, a variety of threats may be identified and intercepted via full coordination and interoperability between the systems,” he added.

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