OFAKIM, ISRAEL- NOVEMBER 18: (ISRAEL OUT) An Israeli emergency personnel inspects the damage to a car that was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip on November 18, 2012 in Ofakim, Israel. Israeli/Gaza attacks have entered the fifth day, with two media buildings being recently struck and several journalists subsequently injured. According to health officials in Gaza, at least 50 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched operation Pillar of Defence. So far three Israelis have died in the exchange of missiles which followed an air strike on Wednesday that killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Hide Caption

Israel successfully tests missile defense system

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
1 killed, 9 wounded in Israeli gunfire

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel successfully tested its newest missile defense system Sunday, the military said, a step toward making the third leg of what Israel calls its "multilayer missile defense" operational.

The "David's Sling" system is designed to stop mid-range missiles. It successfully passed its test, shooting down its first missile in a drill Sunday in southern Israel, the military said.

The system is designed to intercept projectiles with ranges of up to 300 kilometers (180 miles).

Israel has also deployed Arrow systems for longer-range threats from Iran. The Iron Dome protects against short-range rockets fired by militants in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Iron Dome shot down hundreds of rockets from Gaza in this month's round of fighting.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the success of Iron Dome highlighted the "immense importance" of such systems.

"David's Sling," also known "Magic Wand," is developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and U.S.-based Raytheon Co. and is primarily designed to counter the large arsenal of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon.

The military said the program, which is on schedule for deployment in 2014, would "provide an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles."

The next generation of the Arrow, now in the development stage, is set to be deployed in 2016. Called the Arrow 3, it is designed to strike its target outside the atmosphere, intercepting missiles closer to their launch sites. Together, the two Arrow systems would provide two chances to strike down incoming missiles.

Israel also uses U.S.-made Patriot missile defense batteries against mid-range missiles, though these failed to hit any of the 39 Scud missiles fired at Israel from Iraq In the first Gulf War 20 years ago. Manufacturers say the Patriot system has been improved since then.

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!