Israel’s David’s Sling medium-range missile interceptor has passed final trials and is ready to be deployed in mid-2016.
Designed to shoot down rockets with ranges between 100 and 200km, as well as cruise missiles and drones, the system will protect Israel from potential attacks of its adversaries such as Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas.
US-backed David’s Sling will be part of Israel’s multi-level shield that already uses the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor and the Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor.
The three radar-guided interceptors will give Israel a complex capability to prevent attacks by all types of rockets including Iran’s and Syria’s ballistic missiles Shehab and Scud and Hezbollah’s Katyusha-style rockets.
Israeli’s Defence Ministry said on Monday that David’s Sling, sometimes dubbed the Magic Wand, has passed the fourth and final set of field trials and has now been cleared for delivery to the Israeli Air Force in 2016.
According to Reuters, a small number of David's Sling launcher sites are expected to be operational by mid-2016, with further installations throughout the year.
The system is produced jointly by US Raytheon and Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems with command and control technologies supplied by Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd.
Rafael also makes Iron Dome, which has been extensively bankrolled by the US Congress. Israel and the United States say Iron Dome batteries have proven capable of shooting down around 90 per cent of Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza.
Like Iron Dome and Arrow, David's Sling has drawn interest from prospective foreign clients, especially as it is also billed as being capable of intercepting cruise missiles.