David's Sling Test: 'Even the Americans Shed Tears'
Experts who took part in the test of the David's Sling anti-missile system Wednesday were elated at its success, according to a report by Maariv's Yochai Ofer.
Pini Yungman, who heads the Missile Defense Systems Authority in Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said the test, in which an interceptor missile brought down a missile fired in simulation of an enemy attack, had made “history.”
"We have developed 'next generation' technology here for a system that will provide a solution for future threats. You could say that all of the systems worked perfectly. The jewel in the crown is the interceptor, which carries technologies that do not exist yet anywhere else in the world.”
Yair Ramati, from the Homa Administration, which is in charge of the project on behalf of the Defense Ministry, said that when the interception of the missile succeeded, “you could see doctors jumping up and down as if they were at a Beitar Yerushalayim [soccer] game. Even the American team shed tears. It was a blast you couldn't miss.”
"The Israel Missile Defense Organisation and the US Missile Defense Agency completed a successful intercept test of the David's Sling Weapon System (DSWS) against a short-range ballistic missile today," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"This is the second intercept test of the Stunner interceptor for the DSWS. The intercept test was conducted at a test range in southern Israel," it added, without specifying where.
The first such test took place in November 2012.
"The DSWS is designed as an additional layer of defense against ballistic missiles, to add interception opportunities to the joint US-Israel Arrow Weapon System and to improve the active defence architecture of the State of Israel against missile threats," the defense ministry said.
The Arrow, a cutting-edge system designed to counter long-range missiles, 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 (30 to 155 miles), is meant to bridge the gap between Arrow and Iron Dome.
Expected to be ready for deployment in 2014, it is being developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and US company Raytheon.