IDF defends use of David’s Sling in response to Syrian missiles

The Israeli army justified its first operational use of David’s Sling last week, addressing perceived shortcomings in the new anti-missile system’s performance.

By: World Israel News Staff

The IDF addressed its use last week of the David’s Sling missile defense system in response to missiles fired from Syria.

The incident represented Israel’s first operational use of the anti-missile technology, which did not successfully destroy the Syrian target missiles.

According to comments released by the IDF, the decision-making process leading up to deployment of David’s Sling was sound, and shortcomings with regard to the outcome of the incident can be chalked up to technical difficulties.

The Syrian missiles spent a minute and a half airborne and were subsequently identified as Russian-made SS-21 Scarab missiles, also known as OTR-21 Tochka missiles, with a range of about 60 miles.

“In the past few days, a complete operational inquiry was conducted by the Air Force, which found that the decision-making process of identifying the threat, considering the short amount of time, was correct,” the army announced according to Times of Israel, based on an investigation into last Monday’s incident.

The decision to press David’s Sling into service was apparently based on the army’s conclusion that the the Syrian missiles were on their way toward Israeli territory, with the anti-missile interceptors launched at the last possible moment.

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While the army’s investigation revealed that one of the interceptors was diverted after it was determined that the missile would land in Syrian territory, no explanation was provided for the fate of the second interceptor or the missile after which it was sent.

David’s Sling joined Israel’s the Iron Dome and Arrow systems in spring of 2017 as the middle tier of the Jewish state’s missile defense infrastructure. David’s Sling is capable of intercepting mid-to-long-range ballistic missiles with ranges between 25-190 miles, while the Arrow 2 and 3 systems have the longest-range capabilities and Iron Dome is used to intercept short-range targets.