The Israeli Air Force has plans to replace the MIM-23 Hawk medium-range surface-to-air missile with the upcoming David’s Sling missile defence system.

The Hawk is the country’s main defence system against enemy aircraft, and has been in service since 1965.

A new battalion will be established by the air force for operating the new David’s Sling missile system, due to be received in 2012, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The David’s Sling missile defence system is currently under development by Rafael and Raytheon, and will defend against Iranian missiles such as the M600, the Zelzal, Fajr and Fateh 110, as well as other missiles.

The system uses an interceptor called Stunner, fitted into a launcher that can hold 16 missiles, and will be equipped with an advanced phased-array radar.