Current Affairs: Accroding to Israel’s Defense Ministry, David’s Sling air defense system, developed jointly with the U.S., passed the final round of tests, putting it ready for deployment as soon as next year.
David’s Sling air defense system is designed to intercept medium-range rockets, missiles, and drones.
It is aimed to fill an operational gap between Iron Dome, which shoots down short-range rockets, and Arrow, which shoots down long-range ballistic missiles, both are already in use.
A series of trails by the Israeli Air Force and the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency was completed in southern Israel.
The interceptor is expected to be deployed in the first quarter of 2016.
David’s Sling air defense system was developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, a major U.S.-based weapons company.
The announcement came amidst heightened tensions along Israel’s northern border.
David’s Sling air defense system, also sometimes called Magic Wand, is designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, fired at ranges from 40 km (24.85 miles) to 300 km (186.41 miles).
David’s Sling air defense system is meant to replace the MIM-23 Hawk and MIM-104 Patriot in the Israeli arsenal.
It is designed to intercept the newest generation of tactical ballistic missiles, such as Iskander, using an on-board dual CCD/IR seekers to distinguish between decoys and the actual warhead of the missile, in addition to tracking by Elta EL/M-2084 Active electronically scanned array multi-mode radar.
The multi-stage interceptor consists of a solid-fuel, rocket motor booster, followed by an asymmetrical kill vehicle with advanced steering for super-maneuverability during the kill-stage.
A three-pulse motor provides additional acceleration and maneuverability during the terminal phase.
David’s Sling was planned to be deployed in 2015, but budget shortfalls for infrastructure for deployable missile batteries will delay its operational date.
The name David’s Sling comes from the biblical story of David and Goliath. It will form one level Israel’s future multi-tiered missile defense system that Israel is developing, which will also include Arrow 2, Arrow 3, Iron Dome and Iron Beam from as early as 2018.