Germany to buy Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defense system

$2 billion sale would be the first export of the long-range missile defense system to another country.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The German government is gearing up to purchase Israel’s Arrow-3 air defense system for some 2 billion Euros ($2 billion), rejecting an offer for a similar system from American aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

The sale would mark Israel’s first export of the Arrow-3, one of the world’s most sophisticated missile defense systems.

It features interceptors capable of flying above the Earth’s atmosphere, which then plunge back down and target incoming nuclear, chemical or biological missiles, destroying them at high altitudes. The interceptors are believed to have a flight range of 2,400 km (1,500 miles).

On the heels of a Monday meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Berlin will purchase the Arrow 3 missile defense system, which is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries.

“Israel … will play a part in building Germany’s new defense force, mainly in the field of air defense,” Lapid said during a joint press conference with Scholz in Berlin.
He stressed Israel’s “total commitment to the safety of Germany, to the safety of Europe, to the ability of liberal democracies to defend themselves.”

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A senior German official confirmed that the government does intend to purchase the system, but said that the deal was not yet official.

“Yes, there is the plan to buy Arrow 3, but nothing is signed,” the official told Reuters.

Under the terms of U.S. assistance for the system’s development, Washington has the right to veto any export of Arrow-3 to a third country. According to the Breaking Defense website, sources say Washington has already given its tacit assent.

Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government signaled it was beefing up its defense efforts, including creating a fund worth 100 billion Euros aimed at revitalizing the nation’s military.

During the press conference, Scholz explained that the funds were intended to ensure the safety of both Germany and other neighboring countries from foreign military aggression.

“All of those capabilities will be deployable within the framework of NATO,” Scholz said. “At the same time, Germany will, from the very start, design that future air defense in such a way that our European neighbors can be involved if desired.”