Tel Aviv – April 1, 2015 — Today, Israel successfully tested and validated their new “David’s Sling” Air and Missile Defense system against a challenging realistic target missile in the upper atmosphere. David’s Sling is designed to intercept short and medium range theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) from non-separating SCUD-B and SCUD-Cs to separating SCUD-Ds, as well as long-range maneuverable rockets and cruise missiles.
David’s Sling, with its unique dolphin-shaped maneuverable nose can travel over Mach 15, changing direction to seek out its target in the atmosphere providing a hit to kill kinetic metal on metal intercept within centimeters against reentry warheads from ballistic missiles and much slower cruise missiles. The interceptor is called Stunner, an impressive capability that will fill the wide gap for Israel between the current Iron Dome’s short-range rocket defense and the Arrow 2’s lower space interceptors. This new third layer of defense provides Israel with three (Iron Dome, David Sling, Arrow 2) out of four needed layers with its own indigenous missile defense systems. The fourth layer – the long shots from midcourse to low space is currently being handled by U.S. Aegis BMD ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The layer that David’s Sling will be replacing is the much older U.S. Patriot PAC-2 interceptor systems operated by Israel.
This was the second test of a current series of three tests that achieved intercept at the top end of its capability against a most likely target representation of a SCUD B target ballistic missile. One more success in this test series upcoming soon will assure the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the Missile Defense Agency a positive upcoming production decision that will lead to a deployment of this system throughout Israel. This deployment of the first operational unit could come as early as the end of this year and would enable Israel to face current longer-range and evolving rocket and missile threats from within Syria, Lebanon and Iran with a system of its own.
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