Israel's David's Sling Defense System Intercepts Mid-range Missile in First Trial

Defense establishment hopes the system will be operational by 2015; with capabilities between the Iron Dome and Arrow defense systems, David's Sling will defend against mid- and long-range rockets.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Israel's David's Sling defense system has successfully intercepted a mid-range missile test-fired over the last few days, in its first trial run of the kind.

The intercepting missile used by the David's Sling, also known as Magic Wand, is an advanced weapon that allows for greater range of activity due to its engine, which turns off and on three times during flight. No warhead was attached to the missile during this week's trial. The Israel Defense Forces will carry out a more advanced trial using a warhead in the future.

The multi-mission radar (MMR) used on the David's Sling system is similar to the advanced radar already in use on the Iron Dome system's fifth battery. This radar successfully identified long-range missiles during Operation Pillar of Defense, and as part of the Iron Dome managed to intercept three missiles launched at the Tel Aviv area.

A senior official in Israel's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, which developed the defense system in coordination with the American Missile Defense Agency, said that a "direct hit" was identified during the trial run.

The plan set by the IDF and defense establishment sees the David's Sling system being used in defense of mid and long-range rockets, with capabilities between that of the Iron Dome – which can intercept missiles up to 75 kilometers – and the Arrow, which will be used to intercept long-range exo-atmospheric ballistic missiles.

The David's Sling is being jointly developed by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense contractor Raytheon.

The successful test results will enable further development of the defense system, and additional trials. The release date of the system has been postponed a number of times over the last few years, and is currently scheduled to be operational by 2015.

David's Sling, also known as the 'Magic Wand' system, can intercept mid-range missiles.Credit: Haaretz Archive

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