Germany approves strategic purchase of Israel’s Arrow-3 air defense system

Jordan Tan /

The German Parliament has authorized the first payment for purchasing Israel’s high-tech Arrow-3 air defense system, a contract valued near €4 billion ($4.3).  

With the capability to neutralize ballistic missiles beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, the long-range Arrow-3 system extends protective coverage not only to Germany but also to its neighboring European Union members. 

The Arrow-3, a hypersonic anti-ballistic missile, emerges from a collaborative effort in funding, development, and production between Israel and the United States. This system has a reported flight range of up to 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles). It stands as an advanced system compared to any system Germany has fielded this far. 

Provided the deal proceeds according to plan, the contract finalization is expected by the end of 2023. Germany anticipates the delivery of the Arrow-3 system in the last quarter of 2025.  

This venture underscores a significant shift for Germany, which has been advocating for enhanced NATO air defenses in Europe particularly considering Russia’s persistent missile attacks on Ukraine. 

The initiative, named the European Sky Shield has 14 European countries signed up already, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and the United Kingdom. 

Yet, potential risks have been highlighted, particularly by the country’s federal audit office, that had warned against releasing funds before initial construction work to accommodate the system had been completed in Germany. 

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