'Those who want to beat us will be defeated': Israel's David's Sling goes live
"Those who want to beat us will be defeated," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at a ceremony marking the unveiling of the new David's Sling missile defense system as it goes into service.
Having been officially declared operational, David's Sling completes the army's three-tier missile defense array.
David's Sling is a medium-range interceptor, developed with United States backing, fills the gap between the longer-range Arrow missile defense system and the shorter-range Iron Dome interceptor.
“I will repeat myself, that whoever wants to strike us will be beaten, and those who threaten our existence are putting their own lives at risk,” Netanyahu told the audience.
The Prime Minister also took the chance to hail Israel's ally the United States, saying that the anti-missile system going operational marks an “important milestone” in defense cooperation between the two nations.
David's Sling was developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and US company Raytheon.
“Together we can meet challenges a lot better than any of us can alone,” he said, thanking Israel's US counterparts. “In this case, the white and blue is better together with the red, white and blue.”
Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman added “thanks to this system, we will be able to deal with our enemies, which we unfortunately have.”
Taking the podium, US Vice Admiral James D. Syring noted the "incredible team work and effort," put into the development of David's Sling by both countries and added that it was "an important day for the security of the state of Israel."
"This is an impressive day in what has already been an impressive year for Israeli missile defense," Syring said. "Israel's defense systems have never been stronger and are poised to defend Israeli citizens against a myriad of threats they face across the region."
The system passed final tests in December and it was announced that it would be ready for deployment as part of the country's efforts to defend against regional threats.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), David's Sling is capable of defending the entirety of Israel from a single location- unlike Iron Dome which is often redeployed to specific areas when there is a threat.
The IDF said last month that the system would become operational "in early April."
The different tiers of Israel's missile defense array are intended to protect against a wide variety of threats, from rudimentary rockets and mortars to advanced ballistic missiles, aimed at Israel by various states and organizations: From Iran and Syria to Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic State.
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