Finland announces decision to buy David's Sling system from Israel

Finland's announcement came immediately after admission to NATO was granted.

David's Sling interceptor (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
David's Sling interceptor

Finland will purchase the David’s Sling air defense system from Israel, its Ministry of Defence said.

The announcement, which was made late Wednesday, came a day after the Nordic country was accepted into NATO.

The treaty’s newest member said the plans were to buy the defense system for €316 million, with a possibility for expansion.

This is the first time that David’s Sling has been sold abroad.

“The procurement contract will include a separate clause between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Defence of Finland to ensure the security of supply of the system,” a Finnish statement said. “The arrangement will ensure the availability of critical system components in all security situations.”

It added that the “system will extend the operational range of Finland’s ground-based air defense capabilities significantly.”

This decision was one of Finland’s first moves after officially being accepted into the North Atlantic Alliance. The nation saw Israel’s defense system as a crucial need to meet its defense needs.

“This acquisition will create a new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altitude. At the same time we are continuing the ambitious and long-term development of Finland’s defense capability in a new security environment,” Minister Antti Kaikkonen said. 

How does the David's Sling system compare to prices of other Israeli missile defense systems?

The David's Sling system is pricier among Israeli missile defense forces. Each interceptor launched by Israel’s David’s Sling system costs an estimated $1 million, but the army insists that the cost is irrelevant when launched to defend the home front. 

Israel’s air defenses also include the Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets; and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Compared to the David’s Sling costly interceptor, each Iron Dome Tamir interceptor has a reported price of between $100,000 and $150,000.