Israel US Approves Finnish Procurement of Israel’s “David’s Sling” Weapons System

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A €316 Million Message for Moscow: US Approves Finnish Procurement of Israel’s “David’s Sling” Weapons System


The deal is valued at approximately €316 million, excluding tax. Finland announced the procurement one day after it was admitted as a NATO member.


The US Department of State has agreed to approve Finland’s procurement of the Israeli-manufactured David’s Sling Weapon System. The deal is valued at approximately €316 million, excluding tax.


“David’s Sling” is an advanced missile defense system that is co-developed and co-produced by the Israel Ministry of Defense’s IMDO and the US Missile Defense Agency.


The system, whose industrial team is led by Rafael Advanced Systems, intercepts advanced threats including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, and more.


According to estimates in Israeli media, the cost of a single interceptor is about $1 million.


“David's Sling” has been operational since 2017, and plays a significant role in Israel's multi-tiered air and missile defense array. In May of this year, it was used for the first time to intercept a missile launched from the Gaza Strip.


Under the procurement agreement, Israel will sell the system to Finland, which includes Israeli-US co-produced interceptors and Israeli-produced missile launchers and radar systems.


“Thanks to groundbreaking technologies developed by the defense industry’s brightest minds, we are able to bolster our ties with countries around the world, strengthen our security, and enhance Israel’s global position. I’m confident that this agreement will constitute a new milestone in the cooperation between our countries that will improve our response to global and regional threats,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, following the US approval.


In May 2022, some three months after Russia launched its war on Ukraine, Finland – which shares a 1,340 km border with the former – applied for NATO membership. On April 4th, 2023, Finland formally became a member, roughly doubling the organization’s border length with Russia. This was the quickest accession process in the treaty’s history.


One day later, on April 5th, 2023, the Finish Ministry of Defense announced the procurement of "David's Sling.”


“This acquisition will create a new capability for the Finnish Defense Forces to intercept targets at high altitudes. At the same time we are continuing the ambitious and long-term development of Finland’s defense capability in a new security environment,”
said Minister of Defense, Antti Kaikkonen.


The Finnish version of the system will be jointly developed by Israeli and American industries, led by Rafael Advanced Systems and Raytheon Technologies Cooperation, in partnership with Finnish industries, each contributing to specific tasks. The system will be integrated into Finland's command and control systems.


The new anti-missile system is only part of Finland’s upcoming defense plans. Its 2023 defense budget stands a €6.1 billion, a €1 billion increase from 2022.


 

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