On 23 July, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) for the first time launched 2 David’s Sling aerial defense system interceptors against rockets were from internal fighting in Syria.
Following local media reports that the Israel Defense Forces launched interceptors against Syrian OTR-21 Tochka (NATO designation “SS-21 Scarab”) short-range ballistic missiles.
According to the IDF’s report, in response to the threat, the IDF launched 2 David’s Sling aerial defense system interceptors. In later reports say that the SS-21s had not been aimed at Israel, but rather were part of the fighting in southern Syria.
The decision to intercept them was made at a point in their trajectory which indicated that they might land in Israeli territory, near the Kinneret.
It was Israel’s first operational use of David’s Sling multi-tier layered missile defense system that designed to provide mid-tier regional missile defense.
“As a result, two David’s Sling interceptors were fired at the rockets, as there was a fear they could strike Israeli territory. The Syrian rockets… landed inside Syrian territory. No damage was caused, and there were no injuries,” the military said in a statement.
Following the reports of sirens sounding in northern Israel, it was concluded that the rockets were from internal fighting in Syria where they later fell. In response to the threat,the IDF launched 2 David’s Sling aerial defense system interceptors. No injuries or damage reported
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 23 July 2018
France 24 reported that an Israeli source briefed on the David’s Sling activation said the interceptor missiles were launched following an initial assessment that the two incoming Syrian SS-21 rockets would hit the Israeli side of the Golan. When Israeli sensors realised they would land on the Syrian side, David’s Sling was given an abort order for the interceptors to self-destruct in mid-air.
The source requested anonymity as the Israeli military had yet to carry out a formal investigation. Asked if the United States were apprised of the incident, the source said: “I’m sure that will happen in the future, as there are joint interests.”
It is worth noting that David’s Sling jointly developed by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense contractor Raytheon, designed to intercept enemy planes, drones, tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles, fired at ranges from 40 km (24.85 miles) to 300 km (186.41 miles) with speeds of up to mach 7.5.
According to the Raytheon, David’s Sling is comprised of the multi-pulse Stunner missile, which uses sophisticated sensors and control systems and an active electronically scanned array, or AESA, multi-mission radar for targeting and guidance.
Unlike the blast warhead on the Israeli Iron Dome “Tamir” missile, David’s Sling’s maneuverable, two-stage, hit-to-kill Stunner missile destroys threats through sheer force of impact. The Stunner missile is proven to defeat all short-range ballistic missiles – 92 percent of the worldwide theater ballistic missile threat inventory.
The Stunner missile is designed to intercept the newest generation of tactical ballistic missiles at low altitude, such as Russian Iskander and the Chinese DF-15 using an on-board dual CCD/IR seekers to distinguish between decoys and the actual warhead of the missile, in addition to tracking by Elta EL/M-2084 Active electronically scanned array multi-mode radar.