Israeli and US defence officials have successfully tested the David’s Sling missile defence system, completing the first phase of the weapon’s development, the defence ministry said on Sunday.
“The Israel Missile Defence Organisation and the US Missile Defense Agency completed the first phase of the development of the David’s Sling Weapon System, by conducting a successful interception,” a statement said.
The system “is designed to provide an additional layer of defence against ballistic missiles by adding additional opportunities for interception to the joint US-Israel Arrow weapon system,” it added.
It said the test was conducted at a range in southern Israel but did not say when.
The announcement came four days after a truce ended eight days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants. The military said 1,354 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip , 421 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome short-range defence system.
The Arrow, a cutting-edge system designed to counter strikes mainly from arch-foe Iran, has successfully intercepted missiles comparable to Iran’s Shihab-3 in a variety of test conditions.
David’s Sling, which Israeli television said is designed to intercept missiles fired from a distance of 50 to 250 kilometres (31 to 155 miles), is meant to bridge the gap between Arrow and Iron Dome.
Expected to be ready for deployment in 2014, according to Israeli media, it is being developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and US company Raytheon.