August 17, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Green-Lights Israel’s Arrow-3 Sale to Germany 

August 17, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Green-Lights Israel’s Arrow-3 Sale to Germany 

Latest Developments 

Israel’s Defense Ministry said on August 17 that the United States had signed off on a sale of Jerusalem’s Arrow-3 ballistic missile defense system to Germany, clearing the way for Israel’s largest defense export ever. The U.S. State Department’s approval was required, as the system was co-developed by Israel and the United States. Additional European countries have shown an interest in buying the Arrow-3, Israeli officials said, amid an arms build-up in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

Israeli and German officials will sign a letter of commitment marking the commencement of the $3.5 billion deal, with an initial payment of $600 million. The full contract will be ready to sign by year’s end, with delivery of the Arrow-3 to Germany expected in late 2025 and its full deployment to provide country-wide defense expected by 2030. Main contractor Israel Aerospace Industries and U.S. subsidiary Stark Aerospace will co-produce the system, which also includes components made by Boeing.  

Expert Analysis 

“Seventy-eight years after the Holocaust, it is Israel that is providing Germany with protection. The significance of this historical turnaround cannot be overstated — nor the fact that Israel’s defense mettle is now acknowledged worldwide.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO 

“The U.S. collaboration with Israel on Arrow-3 has helped defend Israelis from ballistic missiles for several years, and now it will also help secure Germans and strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense. This is another example of the benefits associated with U.S.-Israel defense cooperation. One of the lessons from Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is that the United States and its European allies would be foolish to continue to look the other way and ignore their perennial shortfall in air and missile defense capacity.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power 

Need for Improved Integrated Air and Missile Defense 

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s systematic targeting of both military and civilian targets during the war have underscored the need for NATO members to increase their air and missile defense capacity. In the July 2023 Vilnius Summit Communique, the leaders of all 31 NATO members noted that they face “increasingly diverse and challenging air and missile threats” and said they supported efforts to increase the “readiness, responsiveness, effectiveness, and interoperability” of air and missile defenses. 

American Military Aid to Israel Serves Both Countries Well,” by Richard Goldberg 

“Ukraine: What comes next?” Foreign Podicy podcast, Bradley Bowman, RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, and LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges 

Israel to Support Ukraine with Missile Warning System,” FDD Flash Brief 

Avoid Overconfidence When It Comes to Middle East Air and Missile Defense,” by Ryan Brobst and Bradley Bowman 


Israel Military and Political Power