by Staff Writers
Hatzor, Israel (AFP) April 2, 2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the latest addition to Israel's missile defences meant that those seeking to destroy the Jewish state would be endangering their own existence.
He was speaking at a formal ceremony to hand the "David's Sling" system from its developers over to its Israeli air force operators.
The medium-range interceptor, developed with United States backing, is designed to fill the gap between the longer-range Arrow missile defence system and the shorter-range Iron Dome interceptor.
Together, said Netanyahu, they would "protect Israel, our citizens, our cities".
"Whoever seeks to strike us will be struck, whoever threatens our existence will place his own existence in jeopardy," he said in a speech at the commissioning ceremony, at Hatzor air force base in central Israel.
David's Sling, named for the slingshot with which the Bible says the future King David slew the Philistine giant Goliath, was developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and US company Raytheon.
The Jewish state lists several aerial threats, some on its borders and others, such as Iran, far beyond.
One is Lebanon's Hezbollah, with which it fought a devastating 2006 war.
The Israeli military believes Hezbollah today has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.
Also, last month Israeli warplanes struck several targets in neighbouring Syria, drawing retaliatory missile fire, in the most serious incident between the two countries since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Israel used its Arrow interceptor to destroy what was believed to have been a Russian-made SA 5 missile and Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defence systems "without the slightest hesitation" if it happened again.
Israel has sought to avoid being dragged into the Syrian conflict, but has carried out strikes there to stop what it says are advanced weapons deliveries to Hezbollah.
Missiles and rockets are also periodically fired at Israel from the adjacent Gaza Strip, generally by hardline Islamist groups opposed to the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers.
But Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza regardless of who carried it out and routinely strikes Hamas installations in response.
Netanyahu's strongest words were reserved for Iran, which he says seeks to "destroy the state of the Jews" and has ambitions to build nuclear weapons.
Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.
US President Donald Trump slapped fresh sanctions against Tehran's weapons procurement network following a ballistic missile test on January 29.
Iranian officials say the missile programme is purely defensive.
Washington (UPI) Mar 31, 2017
Raytheon's Air and Missile Defense Radar tracked a ballistic missile test target for the first time during a U.S. Navy exercise in Kauai, Hawaii. During what the Navy praised as a successful demonstration, the system searched for, acquired and tracked its target. The event followed a series of trials for the system which examined its ability to track satellites and aircraft. "We ... read more
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|