Thursday 15 June 2023

Germany To Get Its Own ‘Iron Dome’ From Israel

 Germany’s budget committee approved the purchase of key parts of Israel’s “Iron Dome” on Wednesday.

The Bundestag’s budget committee released an advance payment of €560 million ($611 million) to buy Israel’s Arrow 3 air defense system — the uppermost layer of the Jewish State’s Iron Dome. The committee also approved €950 million ($1 billion) to purchase six German-made IRIS-T SLM systems — the Iron Dome’s middle layer.

“With the purchase of the German IRIS-T SLM and the acquisition of the Israeli Arrow, we are pushing ahead with two major projects from the Bundeswehr’s special assets that will help build up a protective umbrella in Germany,” Karsten Klein, a member of the committee, told POLITICO.

Arrow 3 is designed to intercept missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere, according to manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries. The Arrow 3 system can intercept missiles fired from nearly 1,500 miles away. 

The system was first implemented in Israel in 2017 and has prevented attacks from Iran and Syria, according to The Times of Israel. Experts have said the system could also be used as an anti-satellite weapon. 

The total price tag of Arrow 3 is projected to reach €4 billion ($4.3 billion), and the defense system is expected to be in operation by late 2025. Berlin aims to finalize the deal with Israel by the end of 2023. If the agreement fails, Germany will lose most or all of its advance payment.

The money will come from a €100 billion fund to bolster the country’s defenses, announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last year — a “turning point” in defense spending. The fund would bring Germany’s defense spending to 2% of its GDP, a number former President Donald Trump constantly pressured the country to reach.

The move to buy the Israeli system is part of larger efforts by Germany and NATO to increase air and missile defenses on the continent amid Russia’s use of missiles in Ukraine. It is part of Germany’s new national security strategy that Scholz announced Wednesday.

Scholz emphasized the importance of the defense investment, stating it was  “a big project that doesn’t just relate to Germany itself.”


The defense system is part of NATO’s European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), a collection of 17 European countries dedicated to “the multinational acquisition and integration of a broad range of air defence capabilities by European countries.” When in place, the Iron Dome-like defense system could also protect many of Germany’s neighbors.

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