David's Sling defense system 370.
(photo credit: Defense Ministry)
The Defense Ministry and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) held a successful
test of the David’s Sling air defense system on Wednesday morning, in which a
ballistic missile was shot down and destroyed.
David’s Sling is designed
to intercept intermediate and short-range rockets and cruise missiles and should
be effective against a good portion of Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal.
Ramati, of the ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and
Technological Infrastructure, said the trial was a “very complex procedure,”
adding that David’s Sling is slated to become a defensive “workhorse” against
large, powerful rockets and missiles that threaten Israel’s major
Ramati said that radar systems act as the system’s eyes, the
command and control center are its brain, and the interceptors are its
“What’s special about it is that it knows how to intercept from a
low altitude to a fairly high altitude in the atmosphere, covering a wide range
of territory which I can’t unfortunately cite,” Ramati stated.
Sling will be linked to an overarching missile defense network providing national coverage from a number of strategic
locations, and will not be deployed in the form of batteries, like Iron
The trial saw a David’s Sling battery fire an interceptor at a
ballistic target from short range, and examined the remainder of the system’s
components for the first time, the ministry said in a statement.
ballistic missile was fired, a David’s Sling MMR radar identified it and passed
along its trajectory to the fire management system, which calculated a defensive
An interceptor was then fired, striking and destroying the
The test was led by personnel from the Rafael
defense corporation, which manufactures the system, as well as staff from the
ministry, the air force, and the Pentagon.
Describing David’s Sling as a
new and revolutionary system “in the family of interceptors and the world of
missile defense systems,” the ministry stressed that once operational, it would
form a layer in Israel’s growing multi-layered missile defense
The shield currently consists of the Arrow system against
ballistic missiles, and Iron Dome, which intercepts short and medium-range
rockets. The Arrow 3 interception program, which intercepts long-range ballistic
missiles in space, is still under development.
“David’s Sling will allow,
in the near future, the State of Israel to deal with threats with far higher
efficiency,” the ministry said.
Once operational, David’s Sling will act
as a back-up to Arrow batteries, thereby “thickening defensive systems over the
State of Israel against missiles and rockets,” the ministry added.
described Wednesday’s trial as “an important milestone in Israel’s operational
ability to defend itself, including against threats that are expected in the
David’s Sling is being developed by Rafael in cooperation with the
American Raytheon company, while its MMR radar was built by Elta, a subsidiary
of IAI, and its command and control center was designed by Elisra, a subsidiary
of Elbit Systems.
David’s Sling was first tested successfully in 2012 in
a more limited trial. In January 2012, a David’s Sling battery stationed in
southern Israel fired a two-stage interceptor missile and stopped an incoming
The system was designed to counter Iranian missiles such as the
M600, the Zelzal, Fajr and Fateh 110 in Hezbollah’s possession, as well as a
range of rockets with a range between 70 km. and 300 km. It is slated to become
operational in 2014.