Over the past few days, David’s Sling has intercepted a test-fired mid-range missile in its first trial run of the kind, the Haaretz daily reported on Sunday.
David’s Sling’s intercepting missile is an advanced weapon with the possibility of a greater range of activity thanks to its engine, which switches off and on a few times during the flight. The test involved no warhead, with a trial involving a warhead to be held by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the future.
The test brought Israel closer to possessing an active defense shield protecting the country against Islamic militant group Hezbollah’s projectiles, the Jerusalem Post daily reported on Sunday.
The newspaper said the David’s Sling missile defense system, now being developed by Israel’s defense company Rafael and US defense contractor Raytheon, is designed to “fill the gap between Iron Dome’s short-range protection and the Arrow 2 long-range ballistic missile defense program.”
The system, to become operational in 2014, would defend Israel against missiles with a range between 70 kilometers (44 miles) and 300 km (187 miles).
The Jerusalem Post said that according to the IDF, there are some 200,000 rockets and missiles pointed in the direction of Israel from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect on Wednesday. Both the IDF and the Islamist group praised the deal, in line with which, Israel ended its Operation Pillar of Defense against the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave of 1.7 million that has been governed by Hamas since 2007, and Hamas stopped launching rockets into Israel.
The Pillar of Defense started on November 14 with an airstrike that eliminated the head of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari. The airstrike came after a reported surge in rocket attacks on Israeli border towns from Gaza.