Finland First Foreign Customer of Israeli David’s Sling Anti-Missile System

The Finnish Ministry of Defence has approved the country’s acquisition of David’s Sling from Israel, making it the first foreign customer of the long-range air defense system.

The 316-million-euro ($345-million) move comes just a day after Helsinki was declared the latest member of NATO and amid increasing regional threats.

According to the ministry, the anti-missile system will significantly extend the operational range of Finland’s ground-based air defense capabilities.

The minimum flight altitude requirement of the system was reportedly set at 15,000 meters (49,200 feet).

Additionally, procuring the Israeli-made system will allow the Finnish Defence 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,” defense minister Antti Kaikkonen said.

Israel’s Rafael will deliver the air defense system to the Nordic nation, while US-based Raytheon will integrate command and control elements.

Lethal ‘Hit-to-Kill’ Solution

Co-produced by Raytheon, the David’s Sling is capable of intercepting enemy rockets and missiles at a maximum range of 300 kilometers (185 miles).

It can reportedly provide an affordable, lethal hit-to-kill solution for a wide variety of asymmetric threats.

The system has a next-generation seeker and a launcher that carries up to 12 stunner interceptors, all launched in a near-vertical orientation.

Since 2017, the David’s Sling has been operational in Israel, making up the middle tier of the country’s multi-layered missile defense.

Ukraine has also requested the Israeli- and US-made anti-missile system, but Jerusalem has thus far declined.

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