A decade after the “Second Lebanon War”, the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division is obtaining one of the most advanced active defense systems in the world. This week, the operational battalion of the advanced “David’s Sling” missile interception system was officially established. “The battalion has a central part in the defense of our skies”
Tal Giladi | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida & Ofri Aharon
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling”: This week, the battalion that will operate the advanced “David’s Sling” system was officially established. The system will be operational in the coming months and its designation is to supply defense against rockets, medium and long range missiles and cruise missiles.
“The battalion is an additional milestone in the strengthening of the IAF in general and of the Aerial Defense Division in particular”, said Col. Yoni Sayda Marom, Commander of the Active Defense Wing. “The battalion has a central function in the defense of the country’s skies and it will join the rest of the division’s battalions that are deployed throughout the country and that are prepared to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.
In the ceremony that took place yesterday, the Aerial Defense Division revealed the battalion’s new symbol. “The battalion’s renewed symbol expresses the special combination between old and new. The battalion’s historical heritage is the base for the abundant activity being done today and an indication of our future”, stated Lt. Col. Kobi Regev, “David’s Sling” Battalion Commander.
The advanced “David’s Sling” system was officially established | Photo by: Mor Tzidon
A Connection Between the Past and Future
“In the establishment process of an operational battalion, we deal with every component from small to large, from the battalion’s name, through its nature, operating concept, foundations and to its symbol”, stated Lt. Col. Regev, in an interview with the IAF Magazine. “It is an honor for us, as people and as commanders in the IDF, to be part of something original, an honor that comes with a heavy burden of responsibility. The foundations that we will create today will dictate how the battalion will look in a few years”.
The “David’s Sling” battalion has a rich heritage. At the beginning of its journey, the battalion belonged to Paratroopers Brigade and was one of the most significant battalions in the Battle of “Ammunition Hill” and during the “Six Day War”. The battalion eventually became an Aerial Defense Division battalion, which had operated all of the systems the Division had possessed. In 2012, it became one of the SAR (Search and Rescue) Battalions in the Home Front Command. “The reopening of the battalion gives us great pride and consists of a historical event in the division’s heritage and expresses the connection between our heritage and past with futuristic technologies”, stated the Commander of the Active Defense Branch.
“It is an honor for us, as people and as commanders in the IDF, to be part of something original” – Lt. Col. Regev | Photo by: Mor Tzidon
The “David’s Sling” System: An Innovative Active Defense Force
The system is multifunctional, it prompts efficiency and it is IDF exclusive. In the future it will provide a response to threats in the field of sky defense in the form of intercepting enemy UAVs in addition to its ability to deal with rockets and missiles.
“The battalion establishment ceremony expresses pioneering activity in a wide variety of fields”, stated the “David’s Sling” Battalion Commander. “Many participants from the IAF and outside it took part in this activity, the integration of the ‘David’s Sling’ System, one of the best innovative and technological aerial defense systems in the world”.
“David’s Sling” was developed by the Israeli “Rafael Advanced Defense System” in collaboration with the American “Raytheon” company, with a series of tests being run on the system as early as 2012. A concluding series of tests performed in late 2015 by the Ministry of Defense and the system successfully intercepted all of the threats launched at it.
“The ‘David’s Sling’ System has a significant added value to the aerial defense world and the process of making it operational is complex and doesn’t only amount to integrating the system, but also has to do with accumulating professional and operational knowledge, with infrastructure and most importantly – with people”, clarified Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, Commander of the Aerial Defense Division
“The ‘David’s Sling’ System has a significant added value to the aerial defense world” – Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich | Photo by: Mor Tzidon