A new mid- to long-range missile interceptor being developed by Israel successfully shot down a rocket in its first test Sunday, taking a major step toward completing Israel’s missile defense shield, the Defense Ministry said.
The David’s Sling, with an operational range of 70-200 kilometers, will complement Israel’s Iron Dome short-range and Arrow long-range missile defense systems.
The Iron Dome system became the darling of Israel last week as it shot down hundreds of rockets, often in quick succession, during the country’s eight-day engagement with the Gaza Strip.
The David’s Sling system, designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, is to be capable of taking down missiles with warheads of up to half a ton.
The test was conducted the same day that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened to rain down missiles on the entirety of Israel, “from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.”
The Lebanon-based group is thought to have an arsenal of thousands of rockets, many of them supplied by Iran via Syria, that would threaten much of the country in a war. In 2006, a month-long war with the terror group saw thousands of Katyusha rockets launched against towns in Israel’s north.
According to Channel 10, the missile-interception test was conducted in southern Israel and targeted missiles similar to Hezbollah’s arsenal. The battery notched a more than 90% success rate.
The Defense Ministry reportedly intends to purchase 12 David’s Sling batteries once they become operational in 2013 or 2014, according to Channel 10.
Source: Times Of Israel