Germany has received permission from Israel and the United States to purchase the Arrow 3 missile defense system, according to The Jerusalem Post.
German lawmakers have in the past insisted on acquiring Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. However, the head of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, said that Arrow 3 is the most relevant system for countering the threats facing the European nation.
“The Iron Dome is used for short-range threats, we have a strong industry, and we will provide the systems ourselves”, Gerhartz said. “And to intercept at a higher altitude, we have a Patriot weapon system, which we will modernize. But if it’s a threat in the range of 15,000 km, it’s an exoatmosphere, we have nothing. So, I took a close look at Arrow 3, and we’re really interested in the system”.
The purchase of the system, which Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted on, “begins with the approval of Israel and the United States, and they gave it to us”, Gerhartz said. “They agreed that we could cooperate. But we still need to discuss the details”.
If Germany acquires the system, it will be the first time that Arrow 3, one of Israel’s most advanced air defense systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles at altitudes of more than 100 km and with a range of up to 2,400 km, will be sold to another country.
Russia has deployed Iskander missiles in places that can reach many European cities, such as Berlin. Missiles used in Ukraine fly too high to be destroyed by conventional air defense systems.
“We all need to prepare for the fact that we have a neighbor who is now ready to use force to defend his interests. That is why we must work together to prevent this from happening”, Scholz said in an interview with German television last week.
Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Germany has increased its defense budget to 2% of GDP and has said it will set up special funds worth 100 billion euros to quickly upgrade its armed forces.