In a landmark defense agreement, Germany will acquire Israel’s renowned Arrow 3 missile defense system, reflecting a significant shift in Germany’s military policy amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine. The deal, priced at $3.5 billion, is hailed as the most substantial weapons agreement in Israel’s history.
A Response to a Changing Landscape
With the Ukraine war’s persistent threats, Germany has actively sought to strengthen its military capacity. This change in posture became evident when Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a substantial fund of around $109 billion, dedicated to the modernization of the German armed forces, soon after the Russian invasion commenced. The decision to buy the Arrow 3 system is a continuation of this policy shift.
The Arrow 3 Defense System
Developed collaboratively by Israel Aerospace Industries, its subsidiaries, and Boeing, the Arrow 3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles, including those equipped with nonconventional warheads, outside the earth’s atmosphere. This top-tier defense technology represents Israel’s commitment to maintaining a robust defense against threats from nations like Iran.
The Arrow 3 is part of Israel’s comprehensive air defense network, which also includes systems like the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, responsible for neutralizing shorter-range attacks.
The U.S. Role
The U.S. government played an instrumental role in enabling this deal, providing the necessary approvals for the transfer. The State Department confirmed the approval but directed further inquiries to the Israeli and German governments.
Strengthening International Ties
Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, expressed confidence that this deal would not only enhance Israel’s economy but also strengthen the military relationship between Israel and Germany. It is seen as a significant step in solidifying Israel’s strategic alliances with both Germany and the United States.
The agreement also stipulates that components for the Arrow system used in Israel will be manufactured for Germany, showcasing a cooperative industrial partnership.
Israel’s Delicate Position on Ukraine
While Germany is bolstering its military capabilities, Israel has adopted a more nuanced approach concerning the conflict in Ukraine. Israel’s support for Kyiv has been primarily in the civilian domain, careful not to provoke Russia, which maintains a military presence in Syria, a region where Israel frequently operates.
Though Israel has provided technology and intelligence to Ukraine, it has refrained from supplying air defenses like the Iron Dome system.
A Significant Milestone
This landmark deal symbolizes a new chapter in Germany’s military approach, demonstrating a commitment to adapt to the evolving international landscape. It also emphasizes Israel’s strategic importance in global defense technology and its growing partnership with major European nations.
The agreement is set to be finalized by the end of 2023, following approvals from both Israeli and German Parliaments.