Germany mulls buying Israel's Arrow 3 - report
27 Mar, 2022 10:44
Assaf Uni, Berlin
According to "Bild am Sonntag", Chancellor Olaf Scholz has discussed procuring Israeli missile defense systems.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its extensive use of missiles to attack targets there, the German government is considering the purchase of missile defense systems from Israel in the near future, according to a report in German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" today. According to the report, the matter was discussed at a meeting between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and General Eberhard Zorn, Chief of Defense at Germany's Ministry of Defense.
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The report states that the two men discussed the possibility of Germany buying Israel's Iron Dome system for defense against short-range rockets, and also its Arrow 3 system for defense against ballistic missiles. Arrow 3 is still under development in Israel, but has demonstrated its capabilities in a series of successful trials. According to the report, no decision on the matter has yet been made in Germany.
German legislators have called in the past for Germany to buy the Iron Dome system immediately. Andreas Schwarz, of Scholz's Social Democratic Party, who speaks for the party on defense matters, told "Bild am Sonntag", "We must defend ourselves better against the Russian threat. For that, we need a protective umbrella for all of Germany. The Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution."
According to estimates in Germany, procurement of the system - if that proves possible from the point of view of the US and Israel, which are developing it - will cost at least two billion euros. The Germans estimate that it could be operational by 2025. The newspaper's sources estimated that the system's powerful "Green Pine" radar would be deployed at three locations in Germany, from where data would be sent to the NATO Air Forces Combined Air Operations Center in Uedem in the west of the country. Missile interceptor launchers would be stationed at various places around Germany.
The defense sources who spoke to the newspaper said that the radar was so strong that it could also detect missile launches at Romania, Poland, and the Baltic countries. These countries would be able to buy interceptors independently, with Germany supplying the radar picture. "We could 'spread' the use of the system over neighboring countries," Schwarz said, "and Germany would thereby play a central role in European security."