Germany, in the rearmament phase since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, endorsed Thursday, September 28, the purchase from Israel of the Arrow-3 missile defense system, a "historic" agreement that should also help secure European skies. The Arrow system, which is expected to be delivered in 2025, "will prepare German air defense for the future," German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at the signing of the trade deal in Berlin with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant. "This is, without exaggeration, a historic day for both our nations," Pistorius said.
Israel had presented the contract, worth an estimated $3.5 billion, as "the largest ever signed" by Israel, of which the defense industry is a flagship sector. This agreement is "moving for every Jew", coming "only 80 years after the end of the Second World War" and the "tragedy of the Holocaust", said for his part Mr. Gallant. The Arrow system is developed and manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Arrow-3, the upper level of this anti-missile device, is intended to intercept devices above the atmosphere with a range that could be up to 2400 km.
This armament thus has a much greater range than the American Patriot air defense system and the IRIS-T system used so far in Germany. Berlin planned to add the Arrow device to these two systems to form its European anti-missile shield project, launched by Olaf Scholz after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This initiative has so far rallied 19 countries but not Poland, Italy or France, the latter advocating another strategic and industrial approach based on European equipment.
With Arrow-3, "Israel is making a very important contribution to our security in Germany, to our security in Europe, to the security of our airspace," which matters "in the current threat situation," Pistorius insisted. Since the beginning of 2022, Germany has embarked on a historic turning point after several decades of underinvestment in its defense, committing a €100 billion fund to the German army. Once this fund is exhausted, budgetary efforts will have to continue if Berlin wants to devote 2% of its GDP to defense, like the major NATO powers.