Israel and US successfully test David’s Sling missile defense system

With an eye on threats stemming from Hezbollah in the north, Israel conducted another successful test of its advanced anti-ballistic missile defense system. 

Israel and the US successfully completed a series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapons System, a missile defense system that is a central part of Israel’s multi-tiered anti-missile array, Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.

The tests were conducted by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

The test series, designated David’s Sling Test-5 (DST-5) was the fifth series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapon System. This series of tests was conducted at the Yanat Sea Range, operated out of Palmachim Air Base, on Israel’s coast.

“This test campaign is a critical step in ensuring Israel has the capability to defend itself from a very real and growing threat,” said US Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring. “We remain strongly committed to supporting Israel’s development of a missile defense system.”

The test examined the capabilities and performance of the entire David’s Sling Weapon System.

Threat-representative targets were launched and successfully intercepted by the system’s Stunner missiles. The Multi-Mission Radar (MMR) detected the targets after launch and transferred flight information to the Battle Management Center (BMC), which performed calculations to automatically generate a defense plan. The interceptors were successfully launched, performed all flight phases and engaged the targets as planned. Preliminary analysis indicates that test objectives were successfully achieved.

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The information collected during the test is being analyzed by program engineers and will be used in the ongoing development and fielding of David’s Sling, the Defense Ministry said.

“This test series provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defend against large-caliber rockets and other developing threats,” the statement read.

David’s Sling, known as the Magic Wand in Hebrew, is considered an innovative system and is meant to contend with accurate short and medium-range missiles, adding another layer of defense to Israel’s multi-layer anti-ballistic missile systems and supplementing the Arrow systems. It is primarily meant to defend against attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon, including the Iranian-made Zilzal and Fatah 110.

This announcement comes just days after Israel announced that its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic defense system became active with the transfer of the operational interceptors to Israel’s Air Force (IAF).

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News