Israel completed a series of final tests on the Magic Wand (David's Sling) missile defense system Monday morning, and several experts spoke about the implications of the monumental tests.
Col. Aviram Hasson of the Defense Ministry's Center for Research and Development of Weapons, noted how the tests put the Magic Wand through its paces against several scenarios that "are very similar to the operational scenario it will face when it is deployed."
"The system passed all the tests with tremendous success, and it is definitely ready to be transferred to the IAF (Israel Air Force), to be operated by the experienced warriors there," commented Hasson.
Given its "small, agile and lethal" nature, Hasson touted how the defense system is "the cutting edge of technology."
Also discussing the tests was Pini Yungman, Director of the Rafael Missile Defense Systems Directorate, who noted the tests cap off a decade of development.
The system contains "next generation technologies, that do not exist in other systems in the world," said Yungman.
"In the testing, we simulated real targets that were launched at a protected area. The system revealed these threats, carried out interception plans, chose the right plan and launched interceptors against the threats," he said, noting that the interceptor missiles struck their targets precisely from long distance and at a high altitude.
The success of the experiment is the last milestone in the development of the system, prior to its deployment in the IAF; it is to be operational as soon as 2016.
Magic Wand is designed to fill the gap between the longer-range Arrow missile defense system and the shorter-range Iron Dome interceptor. It was developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the US company Raytheon.