Photo: Press Photo / Rafael
During its recent back and forth with Hamas in Gaza, Israel exercised its Iron Dome rocket defence system that kept almost 90 per cent of all rockets launched within 40 kilometers from reaching Israeli targets.A success by any measure, Iron Dome is but one facet of Israel’s planned missile defence and Israeli officials waited just four days after the Gaza ceasefire before testing its next line of missile defence called David’s Sling.
The new system is designed to bring down medium to long range missiles fired from the 50 km to 250km range and was successfully tested Monday at an undisclosed location in southern Israel.
Israeli and US defence officials have successfully tested the David’s Sling missile defence system, completing the first phase of the weapon’s development, the defence ministry said on Sunday. “The Israel Missile Defence organisation and the US Missile defence Agency completed the first phase of the development of the David’s Sling Weapon System, by conducting a successful interception,” a statement said.
The system “is designed to provide an additional layer of defence against ballistic missiles by adding additional opportunities for interception to the joint US-Israel Arrow weapon system,” it added…The announcement came four days after a truce ended eight days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants. The military said 1,354 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip , 421 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome short-range defence system.
Though originally not expected to be fielded until 2014, UPI reported in May that David’s Sling should begin deployments as early as next year
Once the Sling is in place, Israel will use the new Block 4 version of its old Arrow 2 missile interceptor for long range missile intercepts, the Sling for medium, and the Dome for short range.
All three combined should offer a comprehensive missile defence, allowing a certain confidence in engaging with any of Israel’s regional enemies.
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