Israeli and the U.S. recently completed a set of flight tests with the David’s Sling missile system, including cruise and ballistic missile intercepts, the governments said Tuesday.
The testing campaign, called David’s Sling Test-7 (DST-7), had the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) work with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The U.S. helps fund Israel defense efforts like the David’s Sling, Arrow system, and Iron Dome.
DST-7 included a milestone intercept of a “threat representative target” as well as other flight testing to collect technical and engineering data associated with the David’s Sling weapon system performance, MDA said.
IMDO director Moshe Patel noted these tests demonstrated the David’s Sling system now covers cruise missile defense.
“In the last few weeks, the defense establishment, together with the defense industries, conducted a series of tests – unprecedented in their complexity. Through these tests, we demonstrated that the State of Israel has a robust, multilayered capability to face a variety of threats – cruise missiles, UAVs and ballistic threats,” he said in a statement.
“For the first time, we have demonstrated a multi-layered approach to dealing with threats – an approach that employs the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow weapon systems. Using this approach, a variety of threats may be identified and intercepted via full coordination and interoperability between the systems,” Patel added.
Patel was referring to how the Israeli government is using this data to analyze interoperability between the different layers of the Israeli multi-layered defense array. Developed by IMDO, the defense array includes the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3, Iron Dome, and David’s Sling weapon systems.
The tests were led by prime contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., using a test site in central Israel and it included participation by the Israel Air Force and Navy.
Rafael is working in cooperation with U.S. company Raytheon Technologies [RTX] to build and develop these systems.
Rafael said this campaign involved testing the capabilities of a new and advanced version of David’s Sling, which included several scenarios simulating unspecified “future threats.”
The company said the results will help industry and IMDO evaluate and upgrade system capabilities.
Relatedly, Rafael said under the test series framework, it and the IMDO demonstrated the capabilities of Iron Dome in intercepting threats including unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles.
“I commend the successful test, which for the first time, assessed the combined interception capabilities of the multi-layer air defense system of the State of Israel. This is one of the most advanced air defense mechanisms in the world and it protects the state from threats near and far,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement.
MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill also marked the occasion.
“This was the seventh series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapon System, and marks an important milestone for the system. MDA remains committed to assisting the Government of Israel as it upgrades its national missile defense capability against current and emerging threats,” he said in a statement.