Over the last two years, Raytheon has been learning Israel's fast-track
design and development doctrine.
In an address to Israel's first multi-national ballistic missile defense
conference on May 5, King said Raytheon has been employing Israel's
development doctrine in what he said could be used in the United States.
King said the development of David's Sling, meant to intercept missiles with
a range of up to 280 kilometers, has changed thinking in much of the U.S.
In 2007, Raytheon and Rafael signed a contract to begin development of
David's Sling. The system, which features the Stunner interceptor, has
sought to capitalize on air-to-air missile technology to produce a
projectile that could destroy a range of incoming weapons.
"Many in Raytheon said David's Sling wouldn't work," King said. "It will
King recalled the relationship between Raytheon and Rafael. He said
engineers from both companies have overcome cultural and other differences
to produce a cutting-edge missile defense system.
"When we meet, we tease each other who is the first and second best
missile company in the world," King said. "The jury is out on that."
King said Raytheon has been impressed by the high-level Israeli
government involvement in David's Sling. He pointed to the attendance of
Israel Missile Defense Organization director Arieh Herzog at a preliminary
design review in Tel Aviv in late April 2010.
"This would never happen in the U.S. — even for the F-22
[fighter-jet]," King said.
Herzog led a delegation from the Defense Ministry's IMDO and asked
numerous and detailed questions of the David's Sling program. King did not
elaborate but said Herzog's knowledge of the missile defense project was
"They're smart, they're tough and they're competent," King said of the
Israelis. "I can assure you that nobody from the West, including the United
States, can argue with the Israelis."
King said Raytheon has been most impressed by Israel's fast-track
development approach. He said the approach called for rapid design and
development of a prototype meant for testing.
"You build a little bit very rapidly, test it and then go on to the
qualification process," King told the audience filled with Israeli
engineers. "We [in the United States] go through the whole planning stage
and usually it still doesn't work."
King said Raytheon wanted to expand its relationship with Rafael and
Israel's missile defense program. He cited the Iron Dome short-range missile
and rocket defense project, which went from contract to operational
prototype in 34 months.
"I wish Raytheon was part of that [Iron Dome]," King said. "That is
absolutely impressive. This is where we should be."