Russia is allegedly in possession of an advanced Israeli interceptor missile, Chinese news outlet Sina reported on November 6th. In July 2018, two interceptor missiles were fired by the David’s Sling missile defense system.
An internal Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) investigation revealed that the David’s Sling system determined that at least one of the Syrian missiles would land in Israeli territory, and it was decided to launch an interceptor. When it became clear that the attacking missile’s course had changed, it was decided to destroy the interceptor in mid-air.
However, a second interceptor that was launched shortly afterward did not hit its target and landed in Syria Syrian territory allegedly without suffering any major damage.
Thus, the Syrian military salvaged it and provided it to the Russian side to reverse engineer it.
According to SINA, Israel and the United States asked Russia to return the missile. Neither Russia nor the Israel Defense Forces provided a comment on the report.
There’s really no conformation of the report being true, if it is then it is rather concerning for Rafael.
“I don’t know if it’s true” Brig.-Gen (res.) Zvika Haimovitch, the former Aerial Defense Division Commander, told The Jerusalem Post about the Chinese report. But he stressed Israel always assumes her foes are trying to get their hands on sensitive information. “I think that we should always be concerned and worried about our secrets and information and our data that our enemies could get their hands on it. I assume that our enemies are always looking for very sensitive data and about our capabilities and gaps and failures. It’s part of the way that we need to think, that our enemies are always trying to get this sensitive information.”
The David’s Sling interceptor is designed to deal with missiles coming from between 40 kilometers and 300 kilometers away, making up the middle tier of Israel’s advanced air defense array. Each interceptor launched by the system costs an estimated $1 million.
Israel also has the Iron Dome system for short range projectiles, and the Arrow 3, which is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles.
David’s Sling, which was declared operational in April 2017, and is meant to replace the Patriot missile systems in Israel’s defense infrastructure.
It was formerly known as Magic Wand and is an advanced missile defense system jointly developed by Rafael and Raytheon. It is designed to intercept enemy planes, drones, tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles.
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