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Germany to procure Israeli Arrow 3 air defence system

During a meeting in Berlin, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant made an agreement to work closely together in introducing the Arrow 3 air defence system into the Bundeswehr. By obtaining the Arrow 3, the Bundeswehr will be able to close the gap in their capabilities when it comes to combating ballistic missiles in the upper interception layer.

Minister Pistorius welcomed Gallant with military honours during his first visit to Bendlerblock in Berlin. Both ministers signed a joint declaration on military cooperation, which will elevate the relationship between the two countries.

“We are proud of this defence agreement – ​​the largest in Israel’s history,” Minister Gallant said after the US government’s decision. Arrow 3 is “a groundbreaking system, the most advanced of its kind in the world.” And “soon also in Europe,” says Gallant.

The Arrow project will take this cooperation to a new level. “This is a historic day for our two nations,” said Minister Pistorius. “We have taken the first step towards purchasing Arrow,” he added. “We made history with two signatures,” confirmed Yoav Gallant.

In mid-June, the Bundestag Budget Committee released funds for a pre-contractual agreement with the Israeli government. Arrow 3 is an Israeli system developed with US support. In August, the US government approved the $3.5 billion German purchase.

The Arrow 3 missile defence system is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. It includes a command post, radar sensors, launchers with four guided missiles each, and other peripheral devices. The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) jointly develop and produce this weapon system.

The German Defence Ministry stated that Germany is increasingly threatened by ballistic missiles, and with the introduction of Arrow 3, it can combat these threats in the upper interception layer outside the atmosphere and that by investing in a market-available system like Arrow, Germany can achieve rapid initial capability, which could be completed by the end of 2025.

It also went on to state that Arrow 3 will help protect critical infrastructure, as well as our own and allied forces, significantly strengthening national and alliance defence.

“The Arrow system will prepare German air defence for the future,” said Minister Pistorius. Russia’s daily air strikes on Ukraine show how important anti-aircraft defence is. “With the agreement on Arrow 3, Israel is making an important contribution to our security in Germany, to our security in Europe, to the security of our airspace,” Pistorius emphasized. The system is to be integrated into the NATO protective shield.

Arrow 3 is a missile defence system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing. It is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, using a kinetic kill vehicle that collides with the target at high speed. Arrow 3 is the latest and most advanced version of the Arrow family, which has been operational since 2000.

Arrow 3 can intercept missiles with longer ranges and higher altitudes than its predecessors, as well as multiple warheads and decoys. Arrow 3 is considered a key component of Israel’s multi-layered defence system, which also includes Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 2.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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