WASHINGTON – The United States and Israel are weeks away from reaching a draft agreement on a co-production of Israel’s air defense system called David’s Sling that the two countries jointly developed, the top US missile defense officer told lawmakers on Thursday.
US Navy Vice Admiral James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, said discussions and negotiations continued with Israel on the David’s Sling system, which passed a series of intercept tests in April and is expected to be operational next year.
Known in Hebrew as Magic Wand, David’s Sling is being developed and manufactured jointly by Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and Raytheon Co, a top US arms maker.
Robert Scher, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, said the US government had provided more than $3 billion for missile defense to Israel for David’s Sling and other missile defense programs since 2001.
Syring said a draft agreement on co-production of David’s Sling should be reached with weeks, with a final agreement likely in several months, but gave no further details.
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