Israel’s David’s Sling air defence system is unlikely to be operational in 2015 as planned due to budget shortfalls, a senior Israeli defence official told Reuters on 21 May.

A joint project by Rafael and Raytheon, the system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles and heavy rockets, thereby filling the gap between the existing Iron Dome and Arrow systems, which are respectively designed to intercept short-range projectiles and medium-range ballistic missiles.

It is unclear why the Israeli government has cut funding for the programme at a time when the Lebanese group Hizbullah is believed to be acquiring more short-range ballistic missiles and heavy rockets from Iran and Syria. […]