David’s Sling (Israel)

Quick Facts

Mobility Can be deployed on variety of platforms
Targets Tactical ballistic missiles, medium/long-range rockets, cruise missiles
Role and Interceptors Medium-range defense between Iron Dome (Short range) and Arrow 2 (long range); Stunner Interceptors – 40-300 km range
Country of Origin/Status Israel and U.S.; Operational

Israeli – Rafael Advanced Defense Systems/Elta/Elbit

American – Raytheon


David’s Sling Weapons System (DSWS), also known as Magic Wand, forms a crucial element of Israel’s multi-tier layered missile-defense architecture, replacing older U.S. Patriot and MIM-23 Hawk systems to provide mid-tier regional missile defense. DSWS will provide terminal-phase hit-to-kill defense against tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles – including Scuds – especially from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria.[i]David’s Sling will bolster Israeli defenses, filling the gap between the short-range defensive capabilities of the Iron Dome system, and the long-range capabilities of Arrow 2. DSWS serves as a flexible, multipurpose weapons system capable engaging a range of targets from a dynamic range of platforms.[ii]

DSWS was co-developed by Israeli contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and U.S.-based Raytheon: a contingency for U.S. funding.[iii]The system is composed of a two-stage multi-pulse “Stunner” interceptor missile, which uses electro-optical/IR sensors and a EL/M-2084 AESA multi-mission radar by Elta Systems for targeting and guidance, and control systems by Elbit systems.[iv]It can be mounted on an array of ground, naval, and aerial platforms, including existing rail and canister launchers, and the firing units allow for 360° coverage through vertical launch of the missile.[v]Recent tests have shown DSWS’ ability to destroy large salvos of high-caliber rockets and short-range ballistic missiles at high success rates.[vi]

Strategic Implications

David’s Sling significantly bolsters Israel’s key defensive capabilities, integrating mid-range regional defense into their multi-tiered missile defense framework, defending against the hundreds of thousands of missiles and rockets employed by Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah. DSWS can defeat the Iranian Fajr-5, BM-25 and Fateh-110, the Syrian M-600 and Khaibar-1, and Scud missiles.[vii]This provides significantly improved regional defense capabilities for the IDF as they defend the Israeli homeland against barrages of enemy missiles and rockets.


July 2018: Israel activates the David’s Sling for the first time.[viii]

April 2017: Israel deploys David’s Sling as part of its layered air defense network.[ix]

Jan 2017: U.S. and Israel worked together to perform successful tests of David’s Sling.[x]

Mar 2016: Begin shipping parts to IAF for deployment by end of 2016.[xi]

Dec 2015: Final set of tests and declared operationally ready.[xii]

Apr 2015: 3rd successful test ahead of planned deployment in 2016.[xiii]

May 2014: U.S. vetoes sale of DSWS to Poland, in favor of the German, Italian, and U.S. designed MEADS.

Nov 2013: Failed test – due to faulty sensor setting – followed immediately by 2nd successful test.[xiv]

Nov 2012: First successful test interception.[xv]

2006: DSWS development begins after contract given to Rafael and Raytheon.

Recent News

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