Israel signed a nearly $340 million agreement on Sunday to sell its David’s Sling missile defense system to Finland.
David’s Sling was developed by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defensive Systems and U.S. defense giant Raytheon Technologies. It supplements the missile defense provided by the Iron Dome, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems.
The system is one of the world’s most advanced for intercepting threats including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and drones.
It became operational in April 2017, and can intercept “large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles and other developing threats,” according to the Israeli Air Force.
Its projectiles, known as stunners, are two-stage missiles that use multiple sensors. They are launched in a near-vertical orientation from a stationary location. They have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).
The system’s interceptor missiles carry no warhead and are designed to strike targets directly, defeating them with kinetic force. Each firing unit can carry up to 12 missiles. In 2018, Israel fired interceptors from David’s Sling at ballistic missiles launched from Syria, but the intercepts were aborted after the IDF determined the rockets were not a threat.
Israel began developing David’s Sling in 2006 and signed an agreement with the United States in 2008 to co-develop it. From 2006 to 2020, the United States contributed more than $2.4 billion in aid for its development.