US defense bill boosts funding for joint Israel missile defense projects

Pared down bill includes $34 m. for Arrow weapon system, $22 m. for high-altitude defense and $117.2 for David's Sling.

David's Sling defense system 370 (photo credit: Defense Ministry)
David's Sling defense system 370
(photo credit: Defense Ministry)
WASHINGTON - A compromise defense bill proposed on Monday by US lawmakers would boost spending on missile defense by $358 million to $9.5 billion, mandating an additional homeland defense radar and increasing funding for US-Israeli cooperative efforts.
The measure authorizes $173 million in added funding for US-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs, including nearly $34 million to improve the Arrow weapon system and $22 million for work on developing an upper-tier interceptor. Boeing has worked with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on the Arrow II and Arrow 3 interceptors.
It also includes $117.2 million for development of the David's Sling short-range ballistic missile defense system, which is being developed jointly by Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd and Raytheon Co, one of the largest US arms makers.
Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives Armed Services committees released details of a slimmed-down defense authorization bill for fiscal 2014 late on Monday, calling for a final vote on the measure before Congress leaves for the year.
The bill includes $80 million in additional funding to address the problem that caused a missile defense test flight failure in July, and $30 million for design and development of a new, enhanced "kill vehicle," the part of the rocket that is used to hit the target missile and destroy it on impact.
In addition to added funding, the measure requires the Pentagon to develop options and plans to improve the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system run by Boeing Co .
The compromise measure also calls for the Missile Defense Agency to deploy another radar to protect the United States from long-range missile threats from North Korea, and to ensure that other sensors could be deployed on the Atlantic side of the United States to defend against missile threats from Iran.
It earmarked $20 million to fund efforts under way to evaluate a possible additional US interceptor site.