With the negotiations between world powers and Iran at a critical moment, Israel announced Wednesday that its latest missile interceptor system, David's Sling, had successfully completed a series of tests ahead of its final trial.
David's Sling was created to provide an additional layer of defense from short and medium range missiles and rockets while providing the Arrow system another interception opportunity.
The missile defense system will be declared operational in the coming months, once it passes the final set of challenges set by its engineers.
In the latest set of trials – the fourth – the system was tested to the limits of its capabilities. David's Sling is considered revolutionary among the other interceptor offerings across the world.
It is expected to enter service as an essential cog in Israel's multi-layered defense shield and will soon – together with the other security systems – help the armed forces deal more effectively with threats to the Jewish State.
The latest trial tested several potential scenarios which the system is expected to face in the case of an actual conflict. The trial occurred at a testing site in central Israel.
Defense Ministry video of missile trial ( באדיבות משרד הביטחון)
The David's Sling radar, MMR, identified during the test several targets which were launched both from the ground and the air, the latter using the IAF's F-16 warplanes. Shortly after, the operators noted the interceptor missiles had launched and destroyed their targets.
According to the report, in the last test, the MMR identified the missile launch and successfully passed the data to the firing center, which calculated the best defense strategy. The David's Sling interceptor was successfully launched, striking its target as planned.
The tests were undertaken by the Homa Directorate at the Defense Ministry and the American Missile Defense Agency, while Rafael provided further support from its site in central Israel.
Yair Ramati, head of Homa, said that the "system is intended in its first edition to intercept – with one look – the core threats from Lebanon."
Ramati emphasized the close US-Israel cooperation on the project. "The trials were attended by the American representatives who are full partners in the project; we have even asked for an increase in the aid budget for next year in all matters related to stocking the interceptor missiles, parts of which are manufactured here, with other parts made in a factory in the USA."
He stressed that David's Sling was effective for up to double the range of the Iron Dome missile defense system. "Using David's Sling we can protect wide swaths of the State of Israel, regardless of where the Iron Dome batteries are deployed, allowing it to keep defending from the threat of (short-range) rockets as part of a synchronized system."
David's Sling can be deployed both in a mobile and stationary configurations. Unlike the Iron Dome system, it will be capable of intercepting cities far from the cities on which they are being fired.
The system was intended to provide an answer to the precise missiles held by Hezbollah, while a future version will be capable of intercepting unmanned aerial vehicles.