image Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with Amir Eshel, commander of the Israeli Air Force, as they stand next to a David's Sling launcher system during a ceremony in which Israel declared its "David's Sling" intermediate-range air defence shield fully operational, at Hatzor air base in southern Israel April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX33Q27

PM Netanyahu inaugurates the David’s Sling anti-missile defense system

In a festive ceremony at the Israeli ‘Hatzor’ Air Force base, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together with Israeli and American senior defense officials, inaugurated the David’s Sling missile defense system, the final component in Israel’s defensive missile systems. The system is meant to work alongside the Iron Dome and the Arrow missile systems, and is meant to deal with missiles launched at Israel from medium to long ranges of 75 to 300 kilometers, such as the missiles that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah has acquired in recent years, with a declared purpose of using against Israel, if it would attack Lebanon. 

“The David’s Sling, Magic Wand, systems join previous technological advancements like the Iron dome and arrow systems they will defend Israel, our civilians, our cities, our country. There is cutting edge technology in this system and Israel remains a world pioneer in this area. The ingenuity of our people and the combative spirit of our soldiers multiply our power in the face of our enemies and they enable us not only to defend our Homefront but gain a victory in the battle field. I regard great importance to our ability to safeguard our Homefront, we have proven this by providing means, manufacturing intercepters, and other means. With all the importance I regard our defense capabilities, I want to reiterate those who seek to strike us will be struck down, those who threat our existence will put themselves in existential danger,” said Netanyahu.

The David’s Sling has some downsides to it, as it is considered to be a very expensive system. The cost of firing one intercepting missile is estimated at about one million dollars. The security establishment hopes that the cost will drop if it succeeds in exporting David’s Sling to other armies. But as of now, despite a certain interest from a few countries, the chances are not high at this stage, because Washington is opposed due to its concern that it will compete with similar systems that American companies are developing.