Israel, U.S. successfully test David’s Sling anti-missile system

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A team of Israeli and American defense officials completed a successful test of the jointly produced David’s Sling Weapon System against a short-range ballistic missile.

The test was conducted Wednesday at a test range in southern Israel by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, according to a statement from Israel’s Defense Department. It is the second successful test of the system’s Stunner interceptor.

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David’s Sling is “designed as an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles, to add interception opportunities to the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System and to improve the active defense architecture of the State of Israel against missile threats,” according to the Defense Department.

It is capable of shooting down missiles with a range of about 60 to 125 miles, longer than the short-range Iron Dome anti-missile system, and shorter than the Arrow 2 long-range ballistic missile defense system.

The successful test comes amid a strain in U.S.-Israel relations over Israel’s nuclear threat from Iran, as well as in the face of concern that the terrorist Hezbollah organization will attack Israel from Syria or Lebanon.

“The successful test is a major milestone in the development of the David’s Sling Weapon System and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat,” the statement said.

David’s Sling is being manufactured Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., in conjunction with the U.S. firm Raytheon Co.