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The “David Sling” interceptor will be operational in 2015. This fact was exposed this morning in the opening of the “Aerial threats” conference organized by the institute for national strategic studied (INSS) AND i-HLS.
Industry sources said that the system being developed by Rafael and Raytheon is being developed “in full pace” and the aim is to make it operational by 2015.
Late last year , Rafael and the Israeli missile defense organization (IMDO) performed a successful test of the “David’s Sling” long range rocket interceptor system.
Representatives of the u.s missile defense agency (MDA) were present in the test. The u.s is partially funding the development of the “David’s Sling” and Raytheon is a subcontractor to Rafael.
During the test, the Elta radar was operated in “shadow” mode while the target was detected by other sensors. In future tests , the Elta radar will be used as the main sensor.
The sensors detected the incoming long range rocket and seconds later the “Stunner” interceptor was launched and destroyed the target rocket. Sources said that the inert interceptor achieved a kinetic hit.
Uzi Rubin , former head of the Israeli missile defense organization said that a “hit to kill” interceptor allows to verify the destruction of the threat “and this is a very critical piece of information in the intercept sequence”
The “David’s Sling” system will be part of the multi layered defense system Israel is building to defend itself from rockets and missiles. The first layer is the “Iron Dome” also developed by Rafael. This system is designed to intercept short range rockets and in last weeks operation in Gaza proved an unprecedented capability.
The “David’s Sling” will be the second layer with the Arrow-2 and Arrow -3 the third layer against ballistic missiles. The “David’s Sling” is designed to intercept rockets with a range of 70 to 250 km but this capability will increase in the future. The system is also designed to intercept cruise missiles.
The cruise missiles intercept capability has been designed as “threats are changing” according to Israeli sources.
The “Stunner” “dolphin head” nose section enables a dual seeker capability.
Rafael sources explained that the “Dolphin head” shape allows the two seekers to function simultaneously with no interference even in “extreme conditions”. The sources said that the Dual seeker will ensure high sensitivity under all weather conditions and immunity to deception and countermeasures
The 4.60 meters long Stunner, uses a multi-pulse rocket motor.