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.