The US has been alarmed to learn that an antimissile from the Israeli David’s Sling defense system has ended up in the possession of the Russian military.
According to Ian Williams, deputy director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Moscow gaining access to the secret Israeli weapon is not as distressing as the possibility that the technology could leak to Israel’s enemies, especially Iran.
“If Iran gets this thing, we will see an identical system within two years,” Williams told the Business Insider in an interview.
The first report that Russian military specialists are in possession of a missile from the David’s Sling system, which they have been “studying carefully”, was published by the Chinese news portal Sina last week.
According to the report, two missiles were fired from the David’s Sling system (formerly known as “Magic Wand”) on July 23, 2018, to intercept an airborne target flying in from Syria. One of the missiles did not detonate, and was soon spotted by the Syrian military roughly a kilometer from the border with Israel. The Syrians reportedly transported the missile to the Russian base in Khmeimim, from where it was later sent to Moscow.
David’s Sling is a system being jointly developed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the American defense concern Raytheon. The all-weather system is designed to intercept aerial targets, from aircraft and drones to tactical ballistic missiles. David’s Sling is the second tier of Israel’s missile defense system, alongside Iron Dome and Arrow.