It was a year ago that reports first indicated Germany is considering buying Israeli missile defense technology, IAI’s Arrow 3 anti-missile system. Now, according to Globes, reports indicate German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while visiting Washington Friday, was given the approval of President Joe Biden to go ahead with the procurement.
Germany would incorporate the Arrow III into the European Sky Shield Initiative the country heads. Denmark and Sweden joined the initiative just last month, bringing the number of participants to 17.
“Germany’s leadership through the European Sky Shield Initiative, leveraging already existing NATO cooperation frameworks, is a crucial step to ensure that NATO can effectively defend itself against air and missile threats,” said NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană.
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Some would say that it is nothing short of a bizarre ironic twist of history that Germany would acquire defensive technologies from Israel. But there is nothing new about the defense relationship shared by the two nations who have cooperated on military matters for decades. And the Arrow 3 is a part of Israel’s world renowned Iron Dome missile defense tech.
Made by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) the Arrow 3 interceptor is part of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) which is the world’s first operational, national, stand-alone ATBM (Anti Tactical Ballistic Missiles) defense system. Based on the uniquely effective Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptors, the Arrow modular air defense system detects, tracks, intercepts and destroys incoming TBMs carrying a range of warheads and over a large footprint, thereby protecting strategic assets and population centers.
Bundestag defense committee chair Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told DPA that concerns over Russian aggression, as evidenced by that country’s current assault on Ukraine, are a reason for Germany wanting to expand its missile defense capabilities with the Arrow 3. “Due to the threats and weapons systems that the Russians possess,” said Zimmermann, “we must examine options for defending Germany. The Israelis have working systems so it is logical not only to examine the various scenarios but also to procure them immediately. Everything must happen quickly but we must discuss this in a serious way.”