The countdown is over: the “David’s Sling” Aerial Defense System and the battalion which operates it were announced operational yesterday. After completing a series of successful tests, the battalion is awaiting its first operational interception
It’s official: the “David’s Sling” aerial defense system and the battalion that operates it were announced operational in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, Head of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, Director of the U.S Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral James D. Syring, Commander of the Aerial Defense Division, Brig. Gen. Zwika Haimovich and Head of the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Brig. Gen. (Res’) Danny Gold.
“We are adding a significant layer to Israel’s strength. ‘David’s Sling’ joins former developments like ‘Iron Dome’ and ‘Arrow’ and it will protect our citizens, cities and country”, said Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Defense Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, added: “This unique system combines all of our knowledge with that of our partners in the U.S”.
“The integration of a new operational capability of strategic significance adds another layer to Israel’s security barrier”, said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander. “We are obligated to continue developing our defense capabilities while looking to the future”.
The “David’s Sling” system was developed by "Rafael" Advanced Defense Systems in cooperation with Raytheon and is designed to provide active defense from medium range missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs.
“This is a very significant day for Israel and the IAF, we are adding a new and significant capability to the protection of the country”, said Brig. Gen. Haimovich, Commander of the Aerial Defense Division. “The ‘David’s Sling’ system adds another layer of defense and more capabilities. We know that the next campaign will be challenging, but it will meet the Aerial Defense Division prepared”.
The integration of the system required renewed thinking: the IAF had to understand how to maximize each system’s capabilities and determine the way they communicate. “The integration of the ‘David’s Sling’ in the Aerial Defense Division will bring about many changes”, shared Maj. Refael Dahan, Commander of the “David’s Sling” Battalion’s Operations Department.
“Procedures regarding coordination between the systems have changed as combat doctrines have. We utilized the integration of ‘David’s Sling’ in order to take a fresh look at the things we became used to in the division”.