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December 21, 2015 12:15 pm

Israel to Deploy David’s Sling Missile Shield in 2016, Defense Officials Say

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Davids Sling interceptor. Photo: Israel Defense Ministry.

The David’s Sling interceptor, pictured, is designed to shoot down rockets held by Israeli enemies. Photo: Israel Defense Ministry. – Israel’s David’s Sling missile defense system passed its final test and will become operational in 2016, the Defense Ministry announced Monday.

David’s Sling is designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired from ranges of 40 kilometers (25 miles) to 300 kilometers (186 miles).

The advanced interceptor is part of Israel’s four-tiered air defense, which also includes the Iron Dome system, which intercepts and destroys short-range rockets and artillery shells, the Arrow 2 short- and medium-range ballistic missile interceptor, and the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system, which is now entering the last leg of its development.

The Defense Ministry said the last series of trials tested David’s Sling’s ability to intercept a wide range of threats. In the tests, the system detected, intercepted and destroyed several types of projectiles. While the number of missiles was not disclosed, a defense source said the system recognized various clusters, including missiles carrying warheads that could potentially carry hundreds of pounds of explosives.

David’s Sling is being developed and manufactured as a joint venture of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and U.S. Missile Defense Agency contractor Raytheon Co.

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