IDF: Decision to deploy David's Sling was correct

Despite the failure to shoot down Syrian rockets, army stands by decision to deploy the vaunted anti-missile system.

Tzvi Lev ,

David's Sling
David's Sling
Ministry of Defense

The IDF stood by its decision to deploy the David's Sling air-defense system last week for the first time despite its failure to down two Syrian missiles that were headed towards Israel.

"On July 23, two SS-21 rockets were identified which, according to the air defense systems, threatened to undermine the sovereignty of Israel and its citizens. Following the identification, two interceptors of the David Sling type were launched," the IDF said in a statement.

"In recent days, a comprehensive operational probe was conducted in the air force, which shows that the decision-making process, in view of identifying the treat and taking into consideration the short timetable, was correct."

The military added that while "additional technical aspects of the event cannot be published for information security reasons, the lessons learned from the investigation will be implemented in the air defense system."

David's Sling (also known as "Magic Wand") is designed to provide an extra level of defense against medium range and short range rockets and missiles, as well as providing additional opportunities to intercept beyond those of the Arrow, thus creating a more comprehensive anti-missile defense system for the State of Israel.

Last week, the array failed to destroy two Syrian SS-21 Tochka missiles that were headed towards Israel. The IDF clarified afterward that they were fired as part of Syria's infighting and were not aimed directly at Israel.

There is a concern in Israel that the missile will enable the Syrians to reverse-engineer the sophisticated interceptor and the David Sling system.