Monday, November 26, 2012

Israel's latest missile defense system David's Sling a success

(WJD) Less than a week after the Iron Dome defense system became famous the world over for its extraordinary performance in Israel's latest war against Hamas, an equally important missile defense system proved a stunning success in its latest round of tests.

David's Sling, an Israeli-developed system partially funded by the United States, reportedly intercepted 90 percent of its targets in a test conducted in Israel's Negev Desert, a record equal to that of Iron Dome.

The new defense system, however, may ultimately prove even more important than its predecessor. David's Sling is designed to destroy missiles of larger size and greater range than Iron Dome. In particular, it is viewed as a potentially effective defense against the missile arsenal wielded by Hezbollah on Israel's northern border.

Iron Dome is designed to destroy large numbers of short-range rockets, such as those fired from Gaza by Hamas. David's Sling is a more sophisticated system intended for single targets, and can be controlled in-flight, allowing for more precise targeting of rockets traveling at high speeds.

This could prove decisive in the event of an attack on the Iranian nuclear program. It is widely expected that Iran would retaliate primarily through Hezbollah, who have already threatened to target Tel Aviv and other cities in central Israel. David's Sling, once deployed, could be a devastatingly effective defense against such attacks.