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As the Rafael David’s Sling is moving towards operational status, it is the preferred option to replace the Israeli air force (IAF) Patriot missiles. David’s Sling is being developed by Rafael in cooperation with Raytheon, mainly as an interceptor of medium and long range rockets.
Designed with a capability for “classic” air defence missions, David’s Sling will probably replace the aging Patriot batteries. The IAF has evaluated the upgrade of the existing Patriot batteries to the PAC-3 configuration, but the investment is considered too big for the added capabilities.
Israeli sources said that while in many countries the aerial threat posed by aircraft is considered low, in Israel this is still a major one.
Raytheon, Rafael’s partner in the David’s Sling program, is already talking with some potential customers in the U.S and in other countries for the David’s Sling air defence system it is developing with Rafael.
Recently the the system completed a series of interception tests in Israel in which it achieved hits against different types of aerial threats.
In the last series of tests the “Stunner” interceptor of the system achieved kinetic kill against some of the targets.
Unlike the “Iron Dome” rocket interceptor, which has a relatively small footprint, requiring a large number of batteries to protect Israel, the “David’s Sling” has a much larger footprint and “a limited number” of batteries can cover Israel.
According to Rafael the “David’s Sling” is designed to work together with other system like the “Iron Dome” and “Arrow” – the Israeli developed ballistic missiles interceptor.