The United States has given Germany approval to purchase a $3.5 billion missile defence system from Israel, reports on Thursday have confirmed. Picture: older Arrow 2 variant. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)


US approves German purchase of Israeli missile-defence system


The United States has given Germany approval to purchase a $3.5 billion missile-defence system from Israel, reports on August 17 confirmed.

Germany became interested in buying the Arrow 3, an anti-ballistic missile platform jointly designed by Israel and the US, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

American approval was seen as the last major hurdle for the deal, which is set to become Israel’s single biggest defence sale in its history.

Speaking about the purchase agreement, the chair of Germany’s defence committee Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said she was “very relieved” that the deal had been approved.

“It will be operational by the end of 2025 and, on our initiative, will become part of a European air defence system,” she added.

Israeli officials have said the system is likely to become fully operational by 2030, although they confirmed that the first missile deliveries are currently slated for the fourth quarter of 2025.

Moshe Patel, head of the Israeli Missile Defence Organisation, added that the value of the deal was likely to balloon to $4 billion if Germany decided to make additional investments into the functionality of the defence system.

He added that other countries were now interested in buying Arrow 3, although he refused to name the potential buyers.

Also known as the Hetz 3, the Arrow 3 platform is designed to intercept ballistic missiles carrying conventional, nuclear or chemical-weapon payloads while they are outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Intercepting rockets at this height is said to drastically reduce the danger posed by debris fallout from the intercepted target, with fissile and chemically harmful material far more likely to burn up in the planet’s atmosphere than rain down on populated areas.

Experts have suggested that the platform could also easily be adapted into an anti-satellite role, with Israel said to be interested in using Arrow 3 to potentially shoot down spy satellites launched by Iran.