Israel Missile Defense Organization and US MDA Touts Successful Test of Integrated Missile Defense System

The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), of the Directorate for Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense, together with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), have successfully completed a series of live-fire interception tests of the David’s Sling weapon system, against simulated cruise and ballistic missile threats. The tests were led by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems from a testing site in central Israel, with the participation of the Israel Air Force and Navy. This successful series is a critical milestone in the augmentation of Israel’s operational capabilities in defending itself against current and future threats. Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who visited the test site and watched one of the interceptions carried out by the David’s Sling and Iron Dome systems.

Israel Missile Defense Organization and US MDA Touts Successful Test of Integrated Missile Defense System
An interceptor missile is fired at a target simulating an incoming threat in December 2020. (Photo by Israel Missile Defense Organization)

The Head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, Moshe Patel, said “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. 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.”

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Executive VP and Head of Rafael’s Air and Missile Defense Division, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Pini Yungman, said “The capability that was demonstrated in this series of tests ensures the security of the State of Israel and its ability to contend with current and future threats. When the different systems in the multi-layered mechanism are combined, they can handle a variety of simultaneous threats and defend the citizens of the State of Israel.”

Israel Missile Defense Organization and US MDA Touts Successful Test of Integrated Missile Defense System
An interceptor missile is fired at a target simulating an incoming threat in December 2020. (Photo by Israel Missile Defense Organization)

In the framework of the series of tests, the Israel Missile Defense Organization and Rafael also successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the Iron Dome system in intercepting a variety of threats including UAVs and cruise missiles. The test also demonstrated the interoperability of the multi-layer air defense mechanism (Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome). This indicates that the systems will be capable of intercepting threats simultaneously during conflict. Representatives of the MDA and Israeli defense companies participated in the test. Rafael is the prime contractor for the development of the David’s Sling weapon system, in cooperation with US-based Raytheon. IAI’s ELTA division developed the MMR radar, and Elbit Systems developed the “Golden Almond” command and control system.

Israel Missile Defense Organization and US MDA Touts Successful Test of Integrated Missile Defense System
An interceptor missile is fired at a target simulating an incoming threat in December 2020. (Photo by Israel Missile Defense Organization)

The Arrow or Hetz is a family of anti-ballistic missiles designed to fulfill an Israeli requirement for a missile defense system that would be more effective against ballistic missiles than the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile. Undertaken by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing, it is overseen by the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s “Homa” administration and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. David’s Sling is an Israel Defense Forces military system being jointly developed by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense contractor Raytheon. Iron Dome is a mobile all-weather air defense system developed by Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries. The system is designed to intercept rockets fired from distances of 4-70 kilometres away and whose trajectory would take them to an Israeli populated area.

Israel Missile Defense Organization and US MDA Touts Successful Test of Integrated Missile Defense System
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, second from right, along with other senior defense officials watch an air defense exercise in December 2020. (Photo by Israel Missile Defense Organization)
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