After the United States gave its approval, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced Thursday that it had closed its largest-ever defense deal, selling a sophisticated missile defense system to Germany for $3.5 billion.
The contract with Germany may attract the attention of Russia, with whom Israel has maintained cooperative relations during the conflict in Ukraine, despite the fact that Israel has long had close economic and military ties to western European nations.
Israel has frequently rejected offers to sell Ukraine’s armaments out of concern for upsetting Russia.
The long-range ballistic missile interceptor system known as Arrow 3 will be purchased by Germany. The United States had to approve the transaction. State Department since the two nations collaborated to design the system.
Israeli defense spokesman Daniel Gold stated in a statement that “the American approval marks a momentous milestone in the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States.
“The joint program with the U.S. on the advanced Arrow 3 defense system strengthens our national defense,” with the additional comment that it will increase Gemrnya’s defense potential.
According to Moshe Patel, director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, the sale still needs to go through additional formalities between Israel and Germany, including approval by both parliaments. Patel told reporters on Thursday that the missile system’s components will be delivered in full to Germany by 2025 and will be fully operational by 2030.
The European Sky Shield Initiative was initiated by Germany and 17 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Sweden, last year.
Former Israeli missile defense program director Uzi Rubin said that Arrow 3 might serve as a long-range ballistic missile shield for all of Europe.
Although it provides the best protection against the threat of ballistic missiles, he claimed that it is ineffective against cruise missiles or other weapons that fly at lower altitudes. Israel has declined calls to supply Ukraine with weaponry, but it has nonetheless supplied aid. Israel appears to be relying on the fact that the deal with Germany and the sale of a different missile defense system to NATO member Finland only contain defensive weapons in order to move forward with them.
Israel handles security matters in neighboring Syria, where it has recently conducted hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian military locations, and with Russia, with whom it has a complicated relationship.
There is a sizable Jewish community in Russia. Relationships are a little tense, according to Rubin, a specialist with the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.
“But even so, we do not provide Ukraine with any arms. We act in that way because we want to maintain amicable relations with Russia.