Germany releases funds for Israel’s [apartheid state] Arrow-3 missiles in planned 4 billion euro deal

Reuters  /  June 14, 2023

BERLIN – German lawmakers released advance payments of up to 560 million euros on Wednesday ahead of a planned purchase of the Israel-built Arrow-3 missile defence system for almost 4 billion euros ($4.30 billion) in total, a member of the budget committee told Reuters.

Arrow-3 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside of the earth’s atmosphere.

It is the top layer of Israel’s missile defence array, which extends from Iron Dome that intercepts short-range rockets to Arrow-3’s long-range missiles that destroy any non-conventional warheads at a safe altitude.

Berlin aims to strike a government-to-government deal with Israel on the purchase of the Arrow-3 system at the end of the year, according to procurement documents by the finance ministry that were prepared for parliament.

Germany will lose part or all of its advance payments should the deal fail, according to the papers, as the money would be used to compensate Israel for costs incurred by then.

The German air force is supposed to take delivery of Arrow-3, which will cost about one billion euros more than originally planned, by the fourth quarter of 2025.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has laid bare a shortage of ground-based air defence systems such as Raytheon’s (RTX.N) Patriot units or the more recently developed IRIS-T in many Western nations.

While Patriot and IRIS-T cover the medium layer of air defence, Arrow-3 – produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) [RIC:RIC:ISRAI.UL] – offers protection for the higher layer.

Reporting by Holger Hansen, writing by Sabine Siebold, editing by Miranda Murray, William Maclean