The Defense Ministry on Tuesday published the video showing Sunday’s first successful interception of a target missile by the new David’s Sling missile defense system.
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, when it becomes operational.
The system is expected to come on line in 2014.
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.
Designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, David’s Sling will be capable of taking down missiles with warheads of up to half a ton.
Sunday’s 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.”
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 higher than 90% success rate.
The Defense Ministry intends to purchase 12 David’s Sling batteries once they become operational in 2013 or 2014, according to Channel 10.
One major difference between the new system and the much-hailed Iron Dome is that David’s Sling, named after the famous weapon in the biblical David and Goliath story, fires interceptor missiles that can be redirected in mid-flight, correcting for changes in the trajectory of their targets.
Another advantage lies in David’s Sling’s ability to hit faster-moving targets than the relatively crude rockets fired by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. These abilities would enable the system to counter the missiles held by Hezbollah, many of which can fly faster than Hamas rockets, have a greater range — covering pretty much the entirety of Israel — and even contain guidance systems.