following a successful test series David’s Sling to become operational this year,

The David's Sling Weapon System, designed to defeat a wide range of ballistic and air breathing targets, completed its third test series this week, demonstrating successful intercepts of representative threats.

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Stunner missile launched from the David's Slink Weapon Systems' launcher, on one of its recent intercept flights. The third test series demonstrated successful intercepts of several representative threats.
A Stunner missile launched from the David’s Sling Weapon Systems’ launcher, on one of its recent intercept flights. The third test series demonstrated successful intercepts of several representative threats.

Israel’s David’s Sling Weapon System (DSWS) Air- and Missile-Defense system has completed a major test series this week, demonstrating successful intercepts of targets simulating representing threats. The series was part of the third test phase of the system (DST-3), developed under the supervision of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

As part of this test series, representative threat targets were successfully intercepted by the DSWS achieving all test objectives. These included targets of different sizes, fired from medium and long ranges, at low, medium and high altitudes.

DST-3 is the third series of tests of the Stunner interceptor for the DSWS. The information collected is being analyzed by program engineers and will be used for ongoing development and deployment of the system.

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The prime contractor for the David’s Sling Weapon System Program is Rafael and Raytheon is a sub-contractor. The Multi-Mission Radar (MMR) is provided by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The Battle Management Center, known as the Golden Almond, is being developed by Elbit systems/Elisra. Concieved in 2006 as the Short Range Ballistic Missile defense system, DSWS is developed under Israeli-US cooperation and joint funding. Israel has requested US funding of $150 million for the procurement phase, which will include two systems controlling multiple fire units and covering the entire area of Israel.

The David’s Sling Air- and Missile defense System is designed as the middle tier of defense against missiles and rockets, and will improve the active defense architecture of the State of Israel against ballistic missile threats. The systems’ interceptor – the Stunner missile – is also considered by Raytheon to be the future interceptor of the Patriot air defense system, enabling existing fire units to launch the new system, thus extending their range and engagement capabilities beyond the current levels (PAC-2/GEM/PAC-3) while improving battle economy against overwhelming threats. Raytheon and RAFAEL have already proposed the Stunner-Patriot option to potential international customers.

[ismember]This test series is a major milestone in the development of the David’s Sling Weapon and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defend against the developing threat. According to the IDF plans, David’s Sling will be ready for operational deployment this year. According to foreign sources, DSWS will expand the defensive role of israel’s air defenses, enabling effective engagement of medium and short range ballistic missiles, guided ballistic missiles and air breathing targets, such as cruise missiles. By 2016 David’s Sling will become part of Israel’s national missile defense system. The stunner will take part in the multi-layer missile defense system that already includes the Arrow II and Iron Dome, providing its primary endo-atmospheric interceptor. In 2016 the Arrow III is expected to join the network, adding the exo-atmospheric ‘upper layer’. and offering country-wide coverage from centralized locations, rather than the distributed deployment of the Iron Dome.

Since the protected footprint of DSWS is much larger than that of the Iron Dome batteries, Stunner missiles will be far more effective in intercepting long range rockets that were used against Israel in recent conflict. Such weapons, with ranges of 60-300 km were supplied by Iran to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Shorter range rockets with a range of 75-160 km are produced by terror organizations in Gaza, based on Iranian know-how.[/ismember]

Raytheon is the developer of the mobile transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) system of David's Sling. Carrying 12 ready to launch missiles in sealed canisters, the launcher is deployed with an integral power supply, communications and command and control, enabling the system to deploy in distributed, or centralized control scheme.  the system is designed to enable rapid and efficient missile reloading of stacks of six missiles at a time. Photo: Raytheon
Raytheon is the developer of the mobile transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) system of David’s Sling. Carrying 12 ready-to-launch missiles in sealed canisters, the launcher is equipped with an integral power supply, as well as communications and command and control modules, enabling the system to deploy in either autonomous or distributed but centralized controlled configurations. The system is designed to enable rapid and efficient missile reloading of stacks of six missiles at a time. Photo: Raytheon