Israel, U.S. complete successful David Sling tests

Tests of an advanced version of system were carried out in southern Israel.

March 20, 2019 04:48
2 minute read.
A David's Sling interceptor missile is fired during a test, March 19th, 2019

A David's Sling interceptor missile is fired during a test, March 19th, 2019. (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)


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Israel and the United States carried out a series of successful interception tests with an advanced version of the David’s Sling missile interception system, the Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.

“The Defense Ministry, in cooperation with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), successfully completed a series of interception tests on David’s Sling weapons system,” the ministry said, adding that “The success of the series constitutes an important milestone in the State of Israel’s ability to defend itself against existing and future threats in the arena.”

The tests were carried out by Rafael in the South and included a number of scenarios, which simulated future threats that the system might face during a war.

“I welcome the successful series of tests of the David’s Sling’s system, which is in addition to the successful experiment we recently completed with the Arrow-3,” said Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel continues to be a global pioneer in the development of missile defense systems. I would like to express my special appreciation to our ally and our partner the United States in promoting this important security project.”

The series was attended by representatives of the American MDA and other companies who are involved in the development of the system.

David’s Sling, also known as “Magic Wand,” became operational in April 2017 and is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired with ranges between 40 to 300 km.

David’s Sling is a joint Israeli-US project, with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems collaborating with American defense contractor Raytheon, which also produces the Patriot missile system. Other components of the system were developed by Elta – a subdivision of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) – which developed the systems radar, and the Elisra subdivision of Elbit Systems, which developed the command and control mechanisms.

The system is a central component of Israel’s multi-layered defense system, which includes the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets, and the Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Israel used its David’s Sling interceptor system for the first time last July, launching two missiles against two SS-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missiles launched from Syria.

When the system determined that they would not hit Israeli territory, one of the interceptor missiles was ordered to self-destruct over Israel’s southern Golan Heights. The army estimates that one SS-21 missile fell inside Syria, one kilometer from the border with Israel, after their final impact point changed while the missile was mid-flight.

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