In Sunday ceremonies marking operational deployment of the jointly developed U.S.-Israel David’s Sling Weapon System, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned: “Whoever seeks to hit us will be hit. Whoever threatens our existence places himself in existential danger.”

Speaking ahead of the Israeli defense minister, Air Force commander and other dignitaries at the Hatzor Airbase, Netanyahu flagged the high priority ascribed to defending Israel against the growing rocket and missile threat. “We have pioneering technology here and Israel continues to lead the world in this field,” he said.

Developed by state-owned Rafael and its U.S. partner Raytheon, David’s Sling is the newest layer of Israel’s highly integrated and overlapping, four-layered network of active defenses aimed at intercepting short-range ballistic missiles and long-range rockets. The system uses the same multimission radar developed by Elta Systems for the Iron Dome and serves as a bridge between the lower-tier Iron Dome and higher intercepting layers provided by the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems. Unlike the blast warhead featured on the Iron Dome’s Tamir intercepting missile, David’s Sling’s maneuverable, two-stage, hit-to-kill Stunner missile is designed to destroy threats through sheer force of impact. […]