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U.S. Transfers Missile Defense System to Israel’s Air Force

TEL AVIV – Israel’s Defense Ministry together with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency began handing over control of the David’s Sling air defense system to the Israel Air Force on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Following a series of successful trials completed in December, the IAF’s Air Defense Branch has now begun receiving the main components of the system, which is designed to intercept short- to medium-range rockets and ballistic missiles, including guided projectiles, cruise missiles, aircraft, and drones.

“In the first stage, project managers from Homa [the administration in charge of developing missile defenses] together with military industries, headed by the prime contractor, Rafael, will begin handing over the interception, command and control, and radar systems,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that David’s Sling will become part of the IAF’s multi-layered missile-defense system.

David’s Sling’s range allows it to destroy threats far from Israeli skies. An Israeli security source last week called the system “an inseparable part” of Israeli air defenses and promised it would become operational this year.

The ministry said that David’s Sling, which will primarily tackle precision-guided incoming projectiles, will allow Israel to cope with a wide-range of existing and future threats “more effectively,” supplementing the current Arrow air-defense systems.

David’s Sling Multi Mission Radar was developed by IAI’s subsidiary, Elta, and Elbit Systems designed its command and control system, called Golden Almond, the Post reported.

The trials were led by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which developed David’s Sling together with the U.S. defense firm Raytheon.

According to the Defense Ministry, the handover will be completed in a matter of weeks.

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