The German government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz is considering the acquisition of an air defense system similar to the Iron Dome deployed over Israel.
The prospect is motivated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, whose threat revived the defense strategy of several European nations, starting with Germany.
“We need to protect ourselves better against the Russian threat,” said Andreas Schwarz, rapporteur for Germany’s Defense Budget Committee, to the German daily publication Bild. “For that, we need a Germany-wide missile shield quickly.”
According to Bild, the authorities are considering three radar installations capable of monitoring any incoming missile, and Arrow-3 long-range hypersonic anti-ballistic missiles, conjointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing to act as interceptors. The system could potentially extend to other European countries such as Poland or the Baltic states.
The system, valued at €2 billion ($2.2 billion), could be acquired using the €100 billion financial package that was earmarked for its military budget in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine. It could be deployed as early as 2025.
During the invasion of Ukraine that started on February 24, 2022, Russia extensively relied on ballistic and cruise missiles to destroy military installations. On March 19 and 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported having used for the first time several Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to target military facilities in Ukraine. These weapons can fly at a speed of Mach 10 or 12,000 kilometers per hour.