Jerusalem: The United States has approved the sale of Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system to Germany in a deal valued at a record $3.5 billion for Israeli defense industry, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
“The US government has approved the historic procurement of the Arrow 3 defense system to Germany. [icons of the Israeli, US and German flags] The Israel Ministry of Defense, German Federal Ministry of Defense and IAI- Israel Aerospace Industries will sign the landmark $3.5 billion defense agreement, marking Israel’s largest ever defense deal,” the ministry said on social media.
All the necessary details and approvals from the relevant ministries in both countries are expected to be finalized by the end of 2023, allowing the parties to sign the agreement by then, according to the statement.
Following the approval by the US government, senior officials from the Israeli and German defense ministries will attend a ceremony to sign a letter of commitment that will mark the start of the agreement, the ministry said, adding that $600 million worth of commitments will facilitate the immediate start of the project.
In April, media reported that the defense ministries together with the IAI had begun talks on the procurement of the Arrow 3 systems. In February, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that Berlin planned to spend abut 17 billion euros ($18.5 billion) to strengthen the country’s missile defense. Apart from the Israeli system, Berlin was considering buying German-made IRIS-T and US-made Patriot systems as well.
The Arrow 3 missile defense system is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere and plays a central role in Israel’s multi-layered missile defense system. The Arrow 3 is designed and manufactured jointly with the US, so its sale to third countries requires Washington’s approval.