|David's Sling Missile System|
A model of the interceptor missile used by the David's Sling system
|Place of origin||Israel|
|In service||2015 (expected)|
|Designer||Rafael Advanced Defense Systems|
|radar and an electro-optical|
David's Sling (Hebrew: קלע דוד), also sometimes called Magic Wand (Hebrew: שרביט קסמים), 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, designed to intercept medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, fired at ranges from 40 km to 300 km. David's Sling is meant to replace the MIM-23 Hawk and MIM-104 Patriot in the Israeli arsenal. It is designed to intercept the newest generation of tactical ballistic missiles, such as Iskander, using an on-board dual CCD/IIR seekers to distinguish between decoys and the actual warhead of the missile, in addition to tracking by Elta multi-mode radar. The multi-stage interceptor consists of a solid-fuel, rocket motor booster, followed by an asymmetrical kill vehicle with advanced steering for super-maneuverability during the kill-stage. A three-pulse motor provides additional acceleration and maneuverability during the terminal phase.
The interceptor is a two-stage missile, with two targeting and guidance systems installed in its nose-tip (a radar and an electro-optical sensor). In 2006 Rafael was awarded a contract to develop a defense system to counter the threat of medium- to long-range rockets with ranges between 70 km and 250 km. In order to enable Israel to make use of the financial aid provided by the United States to further develop the system and to produce it, a partnership was established with Raytheon which will develop the missile firing unit and overall logistic system and assist Rafael with developing the interceptor. In some of Raytheon's publications, the interceptor is referred to as "Stunner." As of November 2012, David's Sling was expected to enter operational service in 2013 or 2014. It has been suggested that David's Sling missiles, modified with boosters to increase launch speed and different seekers, could be mounted on SPYDER anti-aircraft vehicles, giving them the capability to be mobile long-range rocket interceptors.
The increasing danger of rocket and missile fire against Israel (Qassam rocket fire from Gaza, Katyusha rocket fire from southern Lebanon, and Iran's ballistic missile arsenal) has led to the development of defense systems to counter this threat. In addition to the David's Sling system, which is designed to intercept medium- and long-range rockets, the Iron Dome system, a separate system with which it will be used in conjunction, designed to intercept short-range rockets (4–70 km), and the Arrow missile, a separate system designed to intercept ballistic missiles, are already in use.
On 25 November 2012, Israel successfully tested the Stunner interceptor missile. The David's Sling battery, stationed at an undisclosed desert location in Southern Israel, fired and destroyed the incoming missile with a two-stage interceptor.
According to Lieutenant General Henry Obering, former director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, "We wanted a truly co-managed program because the United States will be very interested in this for our own purposes."
In July 2013, Raytheon revealed it was working with international partners to develop a new air-defense missile system. The system is based on the AN/MPQ-53 radar from the MIM-104 Patriot, a Kongsberg/Raytheon Fire Direction Center, and the Rafael Stunner surface-to-air missile.
In August 2013, Raytheon and Rafael began to seek funding for a fourth-generation Patriot intercepting system, called the Patriot Advanced Affordable Capability-4 (PAAC-4). The system aims to integrate the Stunner interceptor from the jointly-funded David's Sling program with Patriot PAC-3 radars, launchers, and engagement control stations. The two-stage, multimode seeking Stunner would replace single-stage, radar-guided PAC-3 missiles produced by Lockheed Martin. Government and industry sources claim the Stunner-based PAAC-4 interceptors will offer improved operational performance at 20 percent of the $2 million unit cost of the Lockheed-built PAC-3 missiles. The companies are seeking $20 million in U.S. government funding to demonstrate cost and performance claims through a prototype PAAC-4 system. Israeli program officials have said that a previous teaming agreement between Raytheon and Rafael would allow the U.S. company to assume prime contractor status, and produce at least 60 percent of the Stunner missile in the United States. The Missile Defense Agency has said that the U.S. Army is considering use of the Stunner as a potential solution to future U.S. military requirements.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David's Sling.|
- Israeli Patriot Replacement - Strategypage.com, December 13, 2012
- Israel Missile ChronologyNuclear Threat Initiative, 2010
- New Israeli Anti-Rocket Projects Move Ahead, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Robert Wall, 06/23/2008
- Missile-Killing Interceptors Eyed By Israel, US, Aviation Week's DTI, David A. Fulghum, September 23, 2010
- "First successful David's Sling interception caught on film". Times of Israel. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "New pillar of defense: Israel successfully test fires David's Sling". Russia Today. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "David's Sling System - First Successful Interception Test". Israel Defense. 2012-11-25. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Rafael Confirms Offer of Iron Dome, David's Sling to Indian Armed Forces". India Defence. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- Raytheon proposes air-defence system based on the Stunner missile - Janes.com, 4 July 2013
- Raytheon-Rafael Pitch 4th-Gen Patriot System - Defensenews.com, 31 August 2013
- Stunner // Terminal Missile Defense Interceptor Rafael
- Information About the David's Sling System From the Raytheon Website