Israel to sell Arrow missile defence system to Germany

Details being hammered out in 'milestone agreement' to provide Olaf Scholz's government with sophisticated defence system


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on February 19, 2023. Photo by Yoav Dudkevitch/POOL ***POOL PICTURE, EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES, PLEASE CREDIT THE PHOTOGRAPHER AS WRITTEN - YOAV DUDKEVITCH/POOL*** *** Local Caption *** ישיבת ממשלה ראש הממשלה נתניהו משרד קבינט מדבר שרים

Eighty years after the Shoah, Israel is poised to sell advanced military equipment to Germany.
Berlin is in “advanced negotiations” with Tel Aviv to buy Israel’s sophisticated Arrow 3 missile defence system.

In what the Israeli Ministry of Defence is describing as an “important milestone”, the intense discussions are focusing on hammering out a detailed agreement on how to deliver the system to Germany.

The Arrow 3 system is currently the highest level of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defence system, which is designed to intercept and destroy a wide range of incoming missile threats, including those carrying nuclear, chemical, or biological warheads.

Other levels include the Arrow 2, David’s Sling and Iron Dome systems.
According to Israeli media reports, the deal is estimated to be worth around £2.2 billion.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the negotiations show how much the fortunes of the Jewish people have changed since the Shoah.

“In the Holocaust, the Jews were defenceless against Nazi Germany. Eighty years later, Germany is trying to acquire the Jewish state’s defence systems,” he said.

Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing, Arrow 3 is equipped with advanced radar systems that can detect, track and destroy incoming missiles more than 62 miles above the atmosphere in what is known as “exo-atmospheric” space.

It uses kinetic energy to intercept and destroy them before they reach their targets.

The defence agreement is expected to not only strengthen Israel’s ties with Germany but also with Europe as a whole.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said last year: “Germany will design this future air defence right from the start in such a way that our European neighbours can also participate if they wish, such as Poland, the Baltics, the Netherlands, the Czechs, Slovakians or our Scandinavian partners.”

Germany’s negotiations with Israel began after Russia launched its war on Ukraine last year.

Though the talks were delayed due to the US’s initial lack of support for the deal, approval has since been granted.

Arrow 3 was first successfully tested in 2013, and has since been tried out in various scenarios, including against a simulated ballistic missile attack.

It became operational in Israel in January 2017.

Currently deployed by the Israeli military, it is also designed to be interoperable with other missile defence systems, including those used by the US and Nato.

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