ADME Conference: Protecting Israel’s Skies

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Israeli skies are under constant threat of rockets, missiles and mortar fire, launched by terrorist organizations and aimed at cities and towns

David's Sling (U.S. Army)
David’s Sling (U.S. Army)

Israel has developed air defense systems to protect the civilian home front against these threats. Each layer of defense – short range, medium and long – has its own dedicated system. The new David’s Sling rocket intercepter, operational in mid 2015, will be able to cover a wide variety of ranges. This according to Yossi Druker, Rafael’s VP and General Manager of its Air Superiority Systems Division. Details about this Israeli joint effort will be unveiled tomorrow during the Air Defense in the Modern Era conference in Tel-Aviv.

The development of the David’s Sling has been accelerated following its successful test. During the test the system radar detected the target rocket and initiated the “kill sequence”. The target was destroyed by the “Stunner” interceptor in a kinetic hit. The “hit to kill” interceptor verifies the target destruction and avoids using a second interceptor.

Israel’s first layer of defense is the Iron Dome, designed to intercept short range rockets. David’s Sling will be the second layer, with the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 acting as the third layer against ballistic missiles.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

David’s Sling is designed to intercept rockets with a range of 70 to 250 km, although this capability will increase in the future. The system is also designed to intercept cruise missiles.

According to the developers the “dolphin head” shape of the David’s Sling nose allows two seekers to function simultaneously with no interference even in “extreme conditions”. The dual seekers 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.

Druker concluded that the system has the potential to kill any object in the atmosphere: “It will be the best air defense system and it will improve the overall capability of Israel to defend itself from the growing threats.”