The acquisition will deliver a "new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altitude," noted Finland's Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement.By TIM MARTINon April 05, 2023 at 2:09 PM
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapon System. (DVIDS)
BELFAST — Finland has announced it will acquire the US-Israeli-made David’s Sling long-range air defense system at a cost of €316 million ($345 million), just a day after it became the newest member of NATO and amid a potential Russian buildup up on Finnish borders.
The acquisition will deliver a “new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altitude,” noted Finland’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement. It added that a minimum flight altitude requirement of 15,000 meters had been included in an industry request for quotation.
Funding of approximately €213 million, excluding value-added tax, covers the “main contract,” with an additional €103 million covering “options,” according to the MoD. A separate decision will be required for the options to be exercised. Finland and the Israeli Ministry of Defense will agree on a “security of supply” pact as part of the procurement contract. The sale to Finland is also subject to US approval.
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Prime contractors Rafael, based in Israel, and Raytheon, based in the US, will be supported by Finnish industry to integrate the system and manage “equipping of the command and control elements,” noted the Finnish MoD.
David’s Sling is in operation with Israeli Defense Forces and, according to Rafael company literature, the system’s Stunner/Skyceptor interceptor delivers “superior kinematics, maneuverability and lethality by combining novel innovative steering control, multi-pulse propulsion and a next-generation seeker into a lightweight airframe.”
The manufacturer also claims the system offers a “high probability of kill” against a wide range of air and missile defense targets.
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More specifically, the weapon system has been designed to intercept or counter long-range rockets, relatively slow flying cruise missiles at ranges between 40 kilometers to 300 kilometers (approximately 25 miles to 180 miles), according to the Congressional Research Service.
A total of 12 interceptors can be carried from a launcher and fired from a near-vertical position, according to Rafael.
Finland approves $345 million deal for David's Sling long range air defense system - Breaking Defense
The acquisition will deliver a "new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altitude," noted Finland's Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement.