Germany and Israel have signed an agreement concerning the Arrow 3 system. This anti-ballistic missile system should enable Germany to respond to the threat posed by Russian ballistic missiles. A purchase contract must soon be signed. Future German Arrow 3s should be delivered by 2025 and integrate the European Sky Shield anti-missile umbrella.
The Arrow 3 in Germany
The outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a need in Germany to have a long-range anti-ballistic missile system, and quite quickly: almost a month after the invasion, Germany already announced his great interest for the Israeli-American Arrow 3 system. In September 2022, during a visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz to Israel, Israel and Germany confirmed that discussions were underway on this same system. Events advance rapidly in August 2023 when the United States authorized a possible contract with Germany (Reuters), paving the way for the signing, on September 28, of a letter of commitment for the purchase by Germany of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system (Reuters). Last obstacle to signing the contract: the approval of the respective parliaments but both parties are confident of a signature at the end of this year. Delivery of the first systems is expected for 2025 and operational capacity for 2030.
In total, this contract should reach 3.5 billion dollars, or 3.3 billion euros, and the signing of the agreement on September 28 already implies an initial payment of 600 million dollars (565 million euros). ). All funding will be provided by the 100 billion euro fund created by Germany at the beginning of 2022 in order to reinvest in its Defense.
European Sky Shield
The future German Arrow 3 system will be part of an initiative bringing together 19 European countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Netherlands, Romania, United Kingdom United, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland. It aims to create a multi-layered anti-missile defense, with the IRIS-T in medium range, the MIM-104 Patriot in long range and the Arrow 3 in very long range.
Israeli defense systems
The Arrow 3 is part of Israel’s C-RAM and missile defense system. It should be noted that this defense system is in no way designated “Iron Dome” because the latter in reality only represents a small part of Israel’s anti-missile and C-RAM defenses:
- Iron Dome (C-RAM)
- David’s Sling (against short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and large-caliber rockets)
- Arrow 2 (against short or medium range ballistic missiles)
- Arrow 3 (against medium-range ballistic missiles)
- Arrow 4 (under development, against hypersonic missiles and gliders)
As a reminder, the Arrow 3 includes launchers as well as numerous ancillary systems (radar, command post, etc.) allowing the destruction of missiles at very high altitude (up to 100 kilometers) with an estimated range of 2,400 kilometers. . The missile is extremely precise because it destroys its target using the technique known as hit-to-killor ‘touch-to-kill’.