Reports have suggested that Cyprus has reached a deal to purchase the Iron Dome missile-defense system from Israel, in order to secure the nation.
As it stands, the deal has been finalized, although the number of batteries purchased and their estimated delivery date remain unknown. Jerusalem and Nicosia have reportedly been holding talks about the agreement since at least early 2021.
According to a report from Kathimerini, while Cyprus already owns U.S.-made short-range air-defense systems, the Cypriot National Guard insisted on acquiring Iron Dome to meet its “operational demands.” This comes amidst growing concern in Cyprus over Turkish aggression amid ongoing tensions over contested gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In March, the head of Cyprus’s military made his first official visit to Israel, during which he “visit[ed] an Iron Dome air-defense system battery,” according to an IDF statement at the time. In June, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi traveled to Cyprus to take part in a joint military drill. The same month, the two countries signed several defense export agreements, which made the recent development quite evident.