US-Israel Relationship

David’s Sling missile defense system passes key trial, ministry says

Israel’s midrange missile interceptor, David’s Sling, managed to thwart a series of threats, passing a key test on its way to becoming operational, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry said the aerial defense system passed a drill “simulating future threats that the system may face in a confrontation,” the ministry said in a statement.

A spokesperson declined to specify what the test or the threats entailed.

Missile Defense Directorate head Moshe Patel said the capabilities tested in the drill would now be deployed by the air force, which operates the system. He did not elaborate.

The David’s Sling interceptor is designed to deal with missiles coming from between 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) to 300 kilometers (186.41 miles) away, making up the middle tier of Israel’s advanced air defense array.

“The success of the series [of tests] constitutes an important milestone in the State of Israel’s operational ability to defend itself against existing and future threats in our arena,” the Defense Ministry said.

The trials were carried out by the ministry’s Israel Missile Defense Organization  in conjunction with the US Missile Defense Agency.

“Israel continues to be a global pioneer in the development of missile defense systems,” he said.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US for the support in a statement.

In July, two David’s Sling interceptor missiles were fired at rockets launched from Syria, in what was the first known operational use of the system, though the rockets were not intercepted.

Read More: Times of Israel