David's Sling 'can intercept warheads over enemy territory,' Rafael official tells 'Post'

Air defense system is entering the production stage and will have initial operational capability in 2016.

December 22, 2014 19:17
1 minute read.
David's sling test

David's sling test. (photo credit: RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS)

The David’s Sling defense system will be able to intercept projectiles beyond Israel’s borders, a senior official from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems told The Jerusalem Post in recent days.

“David’s Sling has an interception range which ensures intercept before a threat enters Israeli territory. David’s Sling can intercept any rocket or missiles inside the atmosphere, and over enemy areas,” Ari Sacher, of Rafael’s Air Superiority Systems Division, said.

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The system can shoot down incoming warheads irrespective of whether they are conventional or carrying an unconventional warhead, Sacher added.

“Two David’s Sling batteries will cover the whole of Israel,” he said. “It protects Israel against strategic threats, and has the range, the speed and the maneuverability to do so.

The air force is preparing to receive this system.”

Unlike Iron Dome, which was developed exclusively by Rafael, the Israeli defense giant is developing David’s Sling jointly with the US defense firm Raytheon.

The David’s Sling system is entering the production stage and will have initial operational capability in 2016.

It can intercept medium- range rockets and missiles, including many of Hezbollah’s projectiles, as well as hostile aircraft, missiles with longer ranges and cruise missiles.

Separately, Rafael is waiting for the Defense Ministry to respond to its offer to equip the army’s light tactical vehicles, such as jeeps and the Wolf Armored Vehicle, with its active defense system, known as Trophy LV.

Merkava MK 4 tanks are already fitted with Trophy HV, which intercepted antitank missile and rocket-propelled grenade attacks in the Gaza Strip on many occasions during last summer’s war with Hamas. The IDF has begun fitting the Namer armored personnel carrier with Trophy HV as well.

Trophy LV provides 360-degree defense against RPG threats. Its radar detects and tracks incoming RPGs, and activates an electro-optic system that fires an interceptor from the vehicle’s roof downward to neutralize the threat.

Yiftah Kleinman, marking and business development manager at Rafael’s Advanced Armored Systems Directorate, said the system allows lighter vehicles to move through built-up areas teeming with terrorists armed with RPGs, and enables significantly safer border patrols.

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