First Operational Use of David’s Sling System

Israel on Monday activated its David’s Sling air defense system for the first time against two rockets fired from Syria. “No damage was caused, and there were no injuries,” the IDF said in a statement

The David’s Sling system (Photo: IDF)

Israel used its David Sling anti-missile system for the first time on Monday, launching two missiles against rockets launched from Syria. The IDF said that two rockets had been fired towards Israel as part of the internal conflict in the war-torn country but landed in Syrian territory. The incident set off sirens throughout northern Israel.

“The alarms that were heard in northern Israel were the result of launches that were carried out as part of the internal fighting in Syria,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. “As a result, two David’s Sling interceptors were fired at the rockets, as there was a fear they could strike Israeli territory. The Syrian rockets landed inside Syrian territory. No damage was caused, and there were no injuries.”

The David’s Sling system was jointly developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon. An official document issued by Rafael describes the David's Sling system as an effective defense solution against long-range artillery rockets (LRAR), short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM), cruise missiles (CM) and traditional air defense threats, a system that provides protection for the homeland as well as for forward deployed forces.

The system consists of a battle management center, an Interceptor array, a multi-mission Radar for detecting and tracking and weapon control systems (WCS). The architecture of David's Sling is modular and enables integration with other defense systems, thereby providing a comprehensive, extended protective envelope. The interceptor system includes four missile firing units, with 12 Stunner interceptors in each unit.

Several months ago, Israel Defense correspondent Dan Arkin visited the David's Sling Battalion and spoke with its commander, Lt. Col. Kobi Regev, who explained the deployment and operational concept of the David's Sling system, which is different from those of other air-defense systems. "The interceptor battery and the Radar are not deployed close to the area or city being protected, as the protective envelope of the David's Sling system is nation-wide. We do not have to deploy close to an area that needs to be protected,” said Lt. Col. Regev.