German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Eberhard Zorn have discussed possibilities to acquire the Arrow 3 missile defense system from Israel, the Bild newspaper reported
Arrow 3 would cost Germany 2 billion euros and the anti-ballistic missile system would enter into service in 2025, according to Bild. The defense system could cover Poland, Romania and the Baltics, thanks to the strong radars.
There has been no final decision on Arrow 3 yet, the Bild specified.
Earlier in January, the Israeli Defense Ministry said that together with the United States, they conducted successful flight tests of the hypersonic anti-ballistic missile weapon system Arrow 3.
“The Israel Missile Defense Organization together with the US Missile Defense Agency and @IDF [Israel Defense Forces] conducting a successful flight test of the Arrow 3 Weapon System, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere,” the ministry posted on Twitter.
The ministry added that the test took place in central Israel and was led by the Israel Aerospace Industries. The ministry said that after Arrow Weapon System’s operational radars detected the threat and transferred data to the combat control system for analysis, interception plans were established and two Arrow 3 missiles were launched, successfully eliminating the target.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz applauded the successful test and said that the ministry equips Israel “with capabilities to defend against developing threats” to provide “the freedom of strategic maneuvering.”
Earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised Germany for setting aside 100 billion euros ($111 billion) in the 2022 budget for military investment.
“The announcement of a 100 billion euro investment fund is impressive. Increasing German defense spending to more than 2% starting this year will have a significant impact on peace and security in Europe,” Stoltenberg said.
The NATO chief spoke at a press conference alongside German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht in Berlin. He called Germany’s investment in the fifth-generation NATO fighter vital and a sign of commitment to the common nuclear deterrence.
Last year, Israel and the United States began joint development of the missile defense system Arrow 4, the Israeli Defense Ministry had said.
“Another significant reinforcement of a joint multi-layered defense program between the United States and Israel: Israel Missile Defense Organization in the Mafat [a joint body of Israel’s Defense Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces] and the MDA [Missile Defense Agency] have started the development of an Arrow 4 interception system with the IAI [Israel Aerospace Industries],” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
The Arrow system, currently consisting of installations of previous generations, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, is aimed at protecting the skies of the Jewish state from long-range missiles.
Arrow 4 will be an advanced interceptor missile with enhanced capabilities, which will address a number of threats in the region, the US MDA said in a separate statement. This system will replace Arrow 2 interceptors over the coming decades, it added.
MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill described Arrow 4 as an example of cooperation between the United States and Israel. The system illustrates the US commitment to assisting Israel in upgrading its national missile defense capability, he said. The Arrow Weapon System (AWS) is a major element of Israel’s multi-layered defense missile array, MDA said.
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