Israel Tests U.S.-Backed Missile Shield As Iran Nuclear Deadline Looms

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

A new Israeli air defense system being developed in partnership with the United States has passed advanced tests, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, putting it on course for possible deployment by next year.

Defense sources said tests for David’s Sling took place last week and on Tuesday, the last day before a deadline for international negotiations on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Known in Hebrew as Magic Wand, David’s Sling is being manufactured jointly by Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and U.S. firm Raytheon Co.

Designed to shoot down rockets with ranges of between 63 miles and 125 miles, aircraft or low-flying cruise missiles, it will fill the operational gap between the Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor and the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor.