The Israel Missile Defense Organization has successfully completed a series of live-fire intercept tests of the Iron Dome and David’s Sling weapon systems against threat-representative cruise and ballistic missiles, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday. It is the first time the Iron Dome system intercepted a cruise missile.

The tests demonstrated an interoperable capability of the different interception system.

The IMDO is a division of the Defense Ministry. The tests were conducted in cooperation with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Rafael Advanced Systems led the tests via a testing site in Central Israel, with the participation of the IAF and the Navy.

The successful series is a critical milestone in the augmentation of Israel’s operational capabilities in defending itself against current and future threats, the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

The series tested the capabilities of a new and advanced version of David’s Sling and included a number of scenarios simulating future threats. The results of these tests will enable IMDO and industry engineers to evaluate and upgrade the system’s capabilities.

The IMDO and Rafael also successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the Iron Dome in intercepting a variety of threats, including UAVs and cruise missiles, the Defense Ministry said. Moreover, it demonstrated the interoperability of the multilayered air-defense mechanism (Arrow missile, David’s Sling and Iron Dome), helping ensure that these systems will be able to intercept different threats simultaneously during a conflict.

“For the first time, [the test] assessed the combined interception capabilities of the multilayered air-defense system of the State of Israel,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said. “This is one of the most advanced air-defense mechanisms in the world, and it protects the state from threats near and far.”

“The systems in this multilayered mechanism provide Israel with a top-tier strategic capability, enabling us to operate effectively in every scenario,” he said.

Brig-Gen. (ret.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president and head of Rafael’s Air and Missile Defense Division, said: “The capability that was demonstrated in this series of tests ensures the security of the State of Israel and its ability to contend with current and future threats. When the different systems in the multilayered mechanism are combined, they may face a variety of simultaneous threats and defend the citizens of the State of Israel.”

Representatives of the MDA and Israeli defense industries, as well as IAF soldiers, participated in the tests.

Rafael is the prime contractor for the development of David’s Sling, in cooperation with the American company Raytheon. IAI’s Elta Systems developed the MMR radar, and Elbit Systems developed the Golden Almond BMC.

“I would also like to thank our partners in the US Department of Defense, US Missile Defense Agency, US government and US Congress, which supports the State of Israel in the development of these systems and aids us in ensuring Israel’s security and operational superiority,” Gantz said.

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