An Israeli defense official announced Wednesday that Poland favors a U.S. bid to build a new missile defense shield. Israel submitted a bid that would have used technology from the David’s Sling missile defense system, but it lost out due to lobbying from Washington.
According to the same defense official, technology from David’s Sling may be employed as a complement to the two U.S. entrants vying for the nearly $13 billion contract. Poland should announced its prefered contractor, Lockheed Martin or Raytheon, to build the system this summer.
David’s Sling Weapon System test in November 2013. (Photo: Israel’s Ministry of Defense)
Israeli state-owned Rafael defense corporation manufactured David’s Sling system using missiles produced by Raytheon. Unlike Iron Dome, David’s Sling is designed to intercept intermediate and short range missiles. Preliminary tests have been successful and the system may be ready for initial deployment later this year.
Poland also recently announced it was accelerating the timeline to buy a missile defense system up from 2015 due to Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine. Any new system should be completed by 2022. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel also stated in April that the U.S. wants other NATO allies, such as Romania, to speed up defense procurement process. Missile interceptors are scheduled to be installed in 2015 as well.