The Israeli Air Force, the Israel Ministry of Defence Israel Missile Defence Organization (IMDO) in the DDR&D, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have successfully concluded a series of exercises and tests in southern Israel in which the “David’s Sling” air and missile defence system intercepted complex scenarios. The scenarios simulated advanced threats, enhancing the system’s capabilities and significantly improving the State of Israel’s multi-tiered air and missile defence array.
The “David’s Sling” successfully performed a series of live-fire tests, specifically designed to counter advanced threats like ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircrafts, and UAVs. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems also participated in the tests.
The exercises and tests examined the system’s existing capabilities in a number of challenging scenarios, proving the system’s operational capabilities during conflict. They also constitute an additional important milestone in the operational integration of the system into the Israeli Air Force, in the face of the variety of threats in the various combat arenas of the IDF. Senior leadership from the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), a key partner in the development and production of the David’s Sling system, were on site to witness the event.
The David’s Sling system, together with the Arrow systems, the Iron Dome, and the C-Dome (the naval configuration of the Iron Dome), forms an essential layer of the State of Israel’s air and missile defence array. The Israel Ministry of Defence, through the IMDO, leads their development efforts. The primary contractor for the system is Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, with Raytheon Missile Systems as a sub-contractor. The MMR is developed by Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, and Elbit Systems is the developer of the BMC command center.
Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defence, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir expressed his satisfaction with the successful tests and the significant advancement in the capabilities of the David’s Sling system.
Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Daniel Gold, stated following the tests: “During Operation ‘Shield and Arrow’, we witnessed the first operational interception of the David’s Sling defence system. This challenging operation showcased the system’s broad operational capabilities, proving the State of Israel’s qualitative advantage and global technological leadership, both in the field of air and missile defence and in general. All of this occurs within the framework of the multi-tiered air and missile defence system, which includes the Iron Dome and Arrow defence systems.”
The IAF Chief of Air Staff, Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim: “The Israeli Air Force, in collaboration with our partners in the field of air defence force build-up processes, operates tirelessly day and night to fully unleash the potential of the system and optimize its performance in diverse and demanding scenarios. Through the testing of this model, we have successfully demonstrated our ability to carry out successful interceptions even in the most challenging scenarios. The combat soldiers have proven their outstanding operational capabilities yet again.”
Director of the IMDO in the DDR&D, Mr. Moshe Patel, said: “The IMDO in the DDR&D remains committed to enhancing its capabilities in close collaboration with the US Missile Defence Agency, the Israeli Air Force, and Israeli defence industries. The ongoing effort ensures its effectiveness in the ever-evolving threat landscape. The series of tests effectively evaluated the system’s unique capabilities in various complex and extreme scenarios. Leveraging these capabilities, the combat soldiers operating the David’s Sling system successfully identified and engaged threats and launched interceptors that accurately destroyed the intended targets.”
Commander of the “Magen” Directorate, Lt. Col. T: “These tests represent a series of successful interceptions conducted by the David’s Sling air and missile defence system during Operation Shield and Arrow. They serve as a testament to the system’s capabilities in effectively countering multi-arena attacks. The execution of training exercises involving live interceptions with an operational weapon system operated by the Israeli Air Force instills great confidence in the system’s performance. Moreover, it aligns with our comprehensive multi-year plan, aimed at enhancing the readiness of our defence systems against threats, specifically from Iran and other potential arenas.”
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Pini Yungman, Executive Vice President and Head of the Air Defence Division at Rafael: “The success of the series of tests on the ‘David Sling’ to expand operational capabilities, is another breakthrough that RAFAEL is leading in dealing with existing and developing threats. The ‘David Sling’ system was activated in Operation ‘Shield and Arrow’ and successfully intercepted two threats as part of an impressive operational event that protected the citizens of the country just as the sister system ‘Iron Dome’ has been doing for years. We are proud of RAFAEL’s part, in cooperation with the Israeli Air Force and the Israeli Ministry of Defence in the mission of ensuring the security and technological superiority of the State of Israel.”