Israel’s David’s Sling missile defence system passed its final test and will become operational in 2016, the Defence Ministry announced Monday.
David’s Sling is designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired from ranges of 40 kilometres to 300 kilometres.
The advanced interceptor is part of Israel’s four-tiered air defence, which also includes the Iron Dome system, which intercepts and destroys short-range rockets and artillery shells, the Arrow 2 short- and medium-range ballistic missile interceptor, and the Arrow 3 long-range missile defence system, which is now entering the last leg of its development.
The Defence Ministry said the last series of trials tested David’s Sling’s ability to intercept a wide range of threats. In the tests, the system detected, intercepted and destroyed several types of projectiles. While the number of missiles was not disclosed, a defence source said the system recognized various clusters, including missiles carrying warheads that could potentially carry hundreds of pounds of explosives.
David’s Sling is being developed and manufactured as a joint venture of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and U.S. Missile Defence Agency contractor Raytheon Co.