In First, Israel Activates ‘David’s Sling’ Anti-missile Defense System
For the first time, the Israel Defense Forces on Monday fired two “David’s Sling” interceptor missiles towards rockets launched during an ongoing regime offensive in southern Syria. In a subsequent statement, the military confirmed that the Syrian-fired projectiles were not meant to target the Jewish state and did not land in Israeli territory. Nevertheless, the incident triggered early-warning rocket alarm systems throughout northern Israel, primarily in the Golan Heights and Galilee regions. The David’s Sling, formerly known as “Magic Wand,” is a joint Israel-U.S. project, developed principally by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and American contractor Raytheon. The system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired at ranges up to 300 kilometers. David’s Sling comprises the second tier of Israel’s multi-layer anti-missile defense apparatus, of which the other primary components are the Iron Dome, which intercepts short-range projectiles including mortars, and the Arrow 3, designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles during the outer space portion of their flight. The David’s Sling is slated to replace the Patriot surface-to-air system, which is also manufactured by Raytheon. Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of its missile defense capabilities, with the Arrow 3 believed capable of operating as an anti-satellite weapon as well.