Israel eyes Arrow 3 sale to Germany, will help replace Russia as gas supplier 

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has been interested in purchasing the Arrow 3 in light of the growing Russian threat against Europe.

 Israel's Arrow 3 interceptor.  (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Israel's Arrow 3 interceptor.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Israel is looking to bolster Germany’s air-defense system through the future sale to Berlin of its Arrow 3 anti-satellite system. Jerusalem also plans to help replace Russia as a gas supplier to Europe starting next year.

“The future possible deal [on the Arrow 3] has to do with our total commitment to the safety of Germany,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said during a joint press conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as he confirmed that the two countries were in talks about such a purchase.

German safety, but also “the safety of Europe” and “the ability of liberal democracies to defend themselves,” is at stake, Lapid said.

There is “the understanding that we are part of this effort, and therefore we have to be in close contact with our European friends,” he added. “Of course, Germany is one of our closest friends in Europe.”

“We have discussed this issue with the German administration on a daily basis, including today,” Lapid said.

Should Germany purchases the Arrow 3, it would be only the second country after Israel to have such an anti-satellite system.

Scholz has been interested in purchasing the Arrow 3 in light of the growing Russian threat against Europe. Germany has ramped up its military spending after Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, while shipping aid and heavy weapons to Kyiv as part of an international response.

Yes, there is the plan to buy Arrow 3, but nothing is signed,” a German government source told Reuters.

Arrow 3 interceptors are designed to fly beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, where their warheads detach to become “kamikaze” satellites, or “kill vehicles” that track and slam into targets. Such high-altitude shoot-downs are meant to safely destroy incoming nuclear, biological or chemical missiles. The Arrow 3 can intercept ballistic missiles at an altitude of 62 miles and has a range of 1,490 miles.

Scholz, Lapid discuss air defense, gas crisis

At the press conference with Lapid, Scholz said Germany would strengthen its defenses by buying more air-defense systems in the future. He called the Arrow 3 system a “high-performance offer” but also declined to go into specifics.

Lapid also spoke of Israeli plans to deliver to Europe next year about 10% of the gas that the continent had received from Russia last year.

"We are going to be part of the effort to replace Russian gas in Europe," he said.

“Our capabilities right now will be about 10% of what the Russians were exporting last year to Europe. It is not a solution; it’s part of the solution,” Lapid said, adding that in addition, Israel has many start-ups that offer alternative energy solutions

Scholz said Germany was working on gas-import infrastructure to allow deliveries from new partners as the country strives to wean itself off Russian deliveries.

Reuters and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.