WASHINGTON -- The US Missile Defense Agency and Israel's Missile Defense Organization successfully demonstrated the David's Sling Weapons System in a series of tests at Yanat Sea Range in Israel, MDA said in a statement released Wednesday.

David's Sling is a missile defense system to defend against large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles and other developing threats, and it is central to Israel's multi-layer, anti-missile array, MDA said. The US has helped to co-develop the system. Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is the prime contractor while Raytheon is a subcontractor.

The series of tests is the fifth of its kind and is a "critical step in ensuring Israel has the capability to defend itself from a very real and growing threat," MDA director Vice Adm. James Syring was quoted as saying in the statement.

The tests involved all subsystems of the weapon, pitting the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems-made David's Sling against threat-representative targets, and taking them out with Stunner missiles.

"The interceptors were successfully launched, performed all flight phases and engaged the targets as planned," the MDA statement said. "Preliminary analysis indicates that test objectives were successfully achieved."

The US has invested a great deal in Iron Dome and David’s Sling development and production in Israel. Raytheon and Rafael also co-produce Iron Dome.

Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and Rafael began delivering major components of David’s Sling to the Israel Air Force in March 2016.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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