The Israeli Defense Ministry and Israel Defense Forces declared on Sunday that the Israeli Air Force just finished a successful series of tests, marking an “important milestone” for the David’s Sling air defense system.
The system was put through its paces against “advanced threats, which enhance its capabilities and significantly improve the defense layers of the State of Israel,” according to a joint statement.
“The system was presented with a number of challenging scenarios that prove its capabilities during a conflict,” it continued.
According to a statement from IAF chief Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim, “the Israeli Air Force operates ceaselessly day and night to fully unlock the system’s potential and optimize its performance in different and challenging scenarios.
“We have successfully proved our ability to carry out successful interceptions even in the most difficult conditions through the testing of this model.
The combat warriors have once again demonstrated their superior operational ability.
During the five-day “Operation Shield and Arrow” in May against Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza, David’s Sling successfully shot down its first rocket.
It enhances the missile protection offered by the Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and Iron Dome systems.
Rafael Advanced Defensive Systems, based in Haifa, and the major American defense contractor Raytheon Technologies created David’s Sling.
It went into operation in April 2017 and can stop “large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles, and other developing threats,” according to the Israeli Air Force.
These missiles are launched by nations like Iran and Syria. Its missiles, called stunners, are multisensory, two-stage missiles.
They take off from a stationary position in a nearly vertical configuration. They can travel 155 miles or 250 kilometers.
The interceptor missiles of the system are made to immediately strike targets and destroy them with kinetic force; they do not carry warheads. Up to 12 missiles can be carried by each firing unit.
Israel launched interceptors from David’s Sling against Syrian-launched ballistic missiles in 2018, but the intercepts were abandoned after the IDF decided the rockets posed no threat.
According to the Finnish Defense Ministry, Finland became the first foreign buyer of David’s Sling in April in a deal for about $347 million, with additional options valued at $237 million.
David’s Sling was first developed by Israel in 2006, and a contract to co-develop it with the US was inked in 2008.
The US provided more than $2.4 billion in subsidies for its development between 2006 and 2020.