The Ministry of Defense today announced that it had successfully completed a series of trials for upgrading the David's Sling (Magic Wand) medium range missile defense system. The tests were conducted at the site of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. in southern Israel, with participation from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and representatives of Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure in the Ministry of Defense.
The Ministry of Defense did not state which upgrades and improvements were being tested in the system, which was made operational in the IDF's air defense system in 2016. It stated that it was "a test of an advanced version of the system," adding that the system's reliability was tested under a number of scenarios simulating future threats likely to occur in a conflict. The Ministry of Defense added, "The success of the test series constitutes an important milestone in Israel's operational ability to protect itself from existing and future threats likely to develop."
Development of David's Sling was led by Rafael in cooperation with US corporation Raytheon, a subcontractor in the project. Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta Systems developed the radar for the system, and Elbit Systems (TASE: ESLT) subsidiary Elisra developed its command and control system.
The system is a key element in multi-layer defense system against missiles and rockets, together with the Iron Dome system and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missile interception system.
David's Sling was first operated in the summer of 2018, when it launched two interceptors at missiles fired from Syria and it was mistakenly thought that the missiles would land in Israel. The missiles actually landed inside Syria. The IDF did not explain the circumstances of the event.
Commenting on the successful test of the David's Sling upgrade, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu said, "This successful series of tests comes on top of a recently completed successful test of the Arrow 3 system." He added, "Israel continues to be a global spearhead in the development of anti-missile defense systems. I want to express special appreciation for the US, which took part in promoting this important project."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 19, 2019
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