Israel seeks multi-year US missile defense aid
Defense official says Israel looking for multi-year budget program which will not require annual administration approval.
Iron Dome fires interceptor rocket south of Ashdod Photo: REUTERS
Israel is in talks with the US about increasing its financial aid for Israeli
missile defense programs and establishing a multi-year budget program which will
not require annual administration approval.
Israel receives an estimated
$3 billion annually from the US under a 10-year memorandum of understanding
signed in 2007.
The administration and Congress have also allocated
additional funds to help finance Israel’s development and procurement of missile
defense systems like the Arrow, which defends against ballistic missiles, and
the Iron Dome, which protects Israel from short-range rockets.
trying to reach an agreement with the US that will spread out over a number of
years,” a senior defense official said on Wednesday.
Last month, the
Pentagon said it would request additional funds for Israel’s Iron Dome budget.
The US previously approved a $205 million infusion for Iron Dome systems, though
it is unclear whether that amount would be matched in the new budget
Under Israel’s new request, it is seeking about $1 billion in aid
from the US which it plans to use to speed up the procurement of additional Iron
Dome batteries as well as the development of David’s Sling, the system that
Israel plans to use to defend against medium-range rockets.
three functioning Iron Dome batteries and plans to deploy a fourth in the coming
weeks. The three that are operational succeeded in intercepting some 60 rockets
during the recent round of violence with Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip last
Defense officials said on Wednesday that Israel’s talks with the
Obama administration regarding the new funding would likely be completed within
the coming months.
According to different estimates, Israel is expected
to request $700 million to purchase four additional Iron Dome batteries and to
speed up the development of David’s Sling, and another $300 million for the
purchase of Tamir interceptors, used by the Iron Dome.
The IDF says that
it will need around 13 batteries to provide adequate protection from Hezbollah
and Hamas’s shortrange Katyusha rockets.
“These discussions are taking
place despite the budget problems that the Americans are having and should not
be taken for granted,” another official said.