The United States government on Thursday approved Israel’s request to export the co-developed Arrow 3 missile defense system to Germany, in what will be Israel’s largest-ever single defense deal, APA reports citing The Times of Israel.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the US Department of State notified Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other senior ministry officials that the US government had approved the sale of the system, which had been developed jointly by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the United States Missile Defense Agency, and manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries.
The Arrow 3 is currently Israel’s most advanced long-range missile defense system, meant to intercept ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, taking out projectiles and their nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional warheads closer to their launch sites, from a distance of up to 2,400 kilometers (1,490 miles). Work is underway on the development of a yet more advanced system, the Arrow 4.
The Defense Ministry said senior Israeli and German defense officials would sign a letter of commitment in the coming weeks, and Germany would transfer to Israel an initial payment of some $600 million to set up manufacturing and production before the full contract is signed.
The full contract of $3.5 billion (previously reported to be $4.3 billion), according to the ministry, would be signed by the end of 2023, once final approvals from both parliaments are obtained. Berlin expects the Arrow 3 system to be delivered in the final quarter of 2025.