David’s Sling missile defense system enters service in Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The David’s Sling missile defense system, which is designed to stop medium-range rockets, drones and cruise missiles, became operational in Israel.

They system entered into service with a ceremony on Sunday at the Hatzor military base in central Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense officials were in attendance at the ceremony launching David’s Sling.

“We have an absolute obligation to the security of Israel’s citizens. In the context of this obligation, we are working systematically to strengthen the offensive capability of the State of Israel against its enemies. We are also working, to the same degree, to strengthen our defensive capability against our enemies,” Netanyahu said hours before the ceremony at the weekly Cabinet meeting. With the introduction of David’s Sling “We are defending the home front,” he said.

“(W)hoever wants to strike us will be beaten, and those who threaten our existence are putting their own lives at risk,” Netanyahu said during the ceremony.

David’s Sling is intended to supplement the Iron Dome system, which targets short-range rockets, and the Arrow system for long-range ballistic missiles.

The U.S. defense contractor Raytheon collaborated on David’s Sling, also known as Magic Wand, with Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.  Israel and the United States successfully completed tests of the David’s Sling missile defense system in late January.

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