Congress approves $600M for Israel’s missile defense program

Congress has approved a significant, mutually beneficial boost to Israel’s defense development. 

Both houses of Congress on Thursday passed a defense authorization bill that includes over $600 million in funding for Israel’s missile defense development, carried out in close collaboration with the US.

The defense legislation passed the Senate by a vast majority of 92-7, after the House of Representatives approved it by a 375-34 vote. It now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature, which he is expected to add to the bill.

The legislation includes authorization to spend $600.7 million on joint US-Israel development of missile defense during the 2017 fiscal year.

Of that total, $268.7 million will be designated for joint research and development, $62 million for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, $150 million for the David’s Sling medium-range missile defense system, and $120 million for the Arrow-2 long-range missile defense system.

Congress has approved similar funding for Israel’s defense in the past.

An additional $10 million was earmarked for the development of anti-tunnel technology, chiefly to be deployed on Israel border with Gaza.

The missile defense funding is not part of the recently signed historic 10-year, $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on American defense aid to Israel. That memorandum goes into effect starting in 2018.

Israel is simultaneously working on developing several defense systems, including the highly successful Iron Dome and David’s Sling. The latter is designed to contend with mid-range missiles, working to provide Israel with an almost hermetic defense against a wide array of ballistic projectiles, with its eye on the Iranian ballistic threat and the dangers posed by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror organization and Hamas in Gaza.

By: World Israel News Staff