Source: David’s Sling to come online as latest component to Israel’s air defense shield – Israel News – Jerusalem Post
April 2, 2017 12:07
Israel’s medium-to-long-range missile interceptor is due to become fully operational on Sunday afternoon.
The David’s Sling interceptor. (photo credit:IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
David’s Sling, the final piece of Israel’s air defense shield, is set to come online Sunday afternoon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel and Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the Aerial Defense Division are due to attend the launching ceremony.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Netanyahu said that “this afternoon we are going to make the anti-missile defense system David’s Sling fully operational. It is important news, all of Israel’s civilians have experienced the important achievement of the Iron Dome systems against strategic short-range missiles in the last campaign against Gaza.”
“David’s Sling is a system that covers the ranges in between, it has immense significance [when it comes to] Israel’s security, and I would like to praise the people of the Defense Ministry, the IDF, research and development and all the other elements that acted to enable this system to be operational. We are defending the homefront,” he added.
Israel’s air defenses currently include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to-long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.
Together the systems will provide Israel will a comprehensive protective umbrella able to counter threats posed by both short and mid-range missiles used by terror groups in Gaza and Hezbollah as well as the threat posed by more sophisticated long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.
The system comes online as tensions have risen along both the northern and Gaza border.
Hamas has threatened to retaliate against Israel following the assassination of a senior operative and Syria has threatened to fire Scud rockets towards Israel should the Jewish state continue striking targets in the war-torn country.
Hezbollah is known to have various long and medium-range missile systems, including the Iranian-made Fajr-5, the M-600 rockets, Zeizal-2, and the shorter-range M75 and Katyushas. But according to a senior IDF officer in the IAF’s Air Defense Division, the terror group is continuously working and acquiring missiles with larger warheads and longer range.
It is believed that in the next war with the Lebanese terror group Israel will be bombarded by thousands of rockets possessed by Hezbollah.
David’s Sling is a joint Israeli-US project, with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems collaborating with American defense contractor Raytheon, which also produces the Patriot missile system. Other components of the system were developed by Elta- a subdivision of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)- which developed the system’s radar, and the Elisra subdivision of Elbit Systems, which developed the command and control mechanisms.
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