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Germany, Israel seal deal on Arrow 3 missile defense system

Arrow 3 for Germany
Illustration: Israel Aerospace Industries file photo of an Arrow 3 interceptor

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant have inked a deal in Berlin, marking the largest-ever Israeli defense sale, as they pledge to work closely on the integration of the Arrow 3 air defense system into the Bundeswehr.

In September 2022, discussions began regarding Germany’s potential acquisition of Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system. A preliminary decision was made later that month. In August 2023, the US gave its approval for the $3.5 billion agreement, solidifying this historic defense deal between Israel and Germany.

According to the official announcement, cooperation between the two countries is set to enter a new dimension, particularly with the Arrow project. “Today is a historic day for our two nations,” stated Minister Pistorius after the meeting.

He added, “With today’s agreement, we have taken the first step towards acquiring the Arrow system.” Yoav Gallant further confirmed the historical significance, saying, “We’ve made history with these two signatures.”

The Arrow 3 missile defense system, designed for intercepting ballistic missiles beyond Earth’s atmosphere, is a collaborative effort between the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA). This system comprises a command center, radar sensors, launchers armed with four guided missiles each, and other associated components.

During the meeting, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius praised the cooperation on armaments projects with Israel, highlighting examples such as the excellent collaboration on the Heron drone project and the planned procurement of the Israeli Trophy system to enhance the protection of battle tanks against anti-tank weapons. He also emphasized that the Arrow 3 missile system could potentially achieve rapid initial capability by the end of 2025.