Aerial Warfare

US Approves Israel’s Sale of Arrow 3 Exoatmospheric Hypersonic Anti-ballistic Missile to Germany

Successful Experiments in Arrow 3 Weapon System in Alaska
Successful Experiments in Arrow 3 Weapon System in Alaska

The Israeli Ministry of Defense, the German Ministry of Defense, and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) are set to mark a significant milestone with the signing of a groundbreaking defense agreement – the largest in the country’s history, valued at $3.5 billion (approximately 14 billion NIS). This deal, which was approved by the US State Department, signals a momentous collaboration between Israel and Germany in bolstering their defense capabilities. The agreement involves the acquisition of the Arrow 3 defense system, a cutting-edge technology designed to intercept ballistic missiles in space, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The Arrow 3 system, jointly developed and produced by the Israel Defense Forces’ ‘Wall’ directorate and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), under the leadership of IAI, stands as the most advanced air defense system of its kind worldwide.

In a letter received by Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Galant, Director General of the Ministry of Defense Major General (res.) Eyal Zamir, and head of PAAT Brigadier General (res.) Dr. Danny Gold, the US State Department officially confirmed its approval of the monumental deal with Germany for the acquisition of the Arrow 3 defense system. The signing ceremony for the letter of intent to initiate the deal will be attended by senior officials from both the Israeli and German defense ministries. A commitment of $600 million will facilitate the immediate commencement of the project’s execution. The comprehensive terms of the contract, meticulously negotiated between the Israeli and German defense ministries, are now awaiting final endorsement from the German government and legislature. The formal signing of the complete contract is anticipated to take place around November 2023.

CEO of IAI, Boaz Levy said: “IAI happily received approval from the US Department of Defense, our partners in the project alongside the Israeli Ministry of Defense, to develop the best air defense system in the world – Arrow 3 – for Germany. We thank the German Parliament for the trust it expressed in us in choosing a system manufactured by Israeli Aerospace Industries. There is no doubt in my mind that being equipped with this system will be the best answer to the needs of security and protection of the citizens of Germany and its environment. The Aerospace Industry has already started implementing the first stages of the deal, together with the ‘Wall’ directorate at MPA, in accordance with the target set by the German Parliament, and in coordination with our U.S. partners.”

Two Arrow 3 interceptors are launched during a test of the missile defense system on January 18, 2022.
Two Arrow 3 interceptors are launched during a test of the missile defense system on January 18, 2022.

Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Major General (Ret.) Eyal Zamir: “This is a historic agreement with far-reaching implications. The deal is another pillar in strengthening the strategic-security relations between Israel and Germany and recognizing the quality of the Israeli defense industry. The largest defense export deal in the country’s history will push Israeli defense exports, which only last year recorded a record of 12.5 billion dollars, to a new peak. It will create hundreds of new jobs and bring additional momentum to the defense industries. The Arrow 3 deal further strengthens the deep alliance with the US, both at the strategic level and at the level The political-security with our partners in the Pentagon, the State Department and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and also in the industrial cooperation, since the system components that are produced for Israel today in the USA will be produced in the USA for the Germans as well.”

The head of the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General (ret.) Dr. Daniel Gold said: “The U.S. approval is a significant milestone in the strategic relationship between the State of Israel and the United States in the field of missile defense. A joint venture with the USA, the advanced Arrow 3 defense system strengthens the defense partnership with Germany and expands to new areas. This cooperation strengthens the national resilience of the State of Israel on a variety of levels and will create new opportunities at the same time as preserving the technological-security superiority and the qualitative advantage of the State of Israel.”

Arrow 3 serves as an exo-atmospheric interceptor with the ability to neutralize ballistic missiles beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The system’s long-range interception capability at high altitudes sets a new global standard for missile defense technology. Arrow 3’s operational principle centers on direct physical impact on the target, known as “HIT TO KILL.” Spearheaded by IAI, the development of the weapon system, including the Arrow interceptors and radar detection technology, is supplemented by the contribution of other key industry players such as Elbit Systems, Tomer, Rafael, and STARK Aerospace. The significance of this approval in fostering Israel’s technological and economic prowess. Minister Galant also underscored the unique symbolism in Germany’s contribution to Israel’s defense and expressed pride in achieving this historic defense deal.

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