The German Defense Ministry will sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to purchase Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system in approximately two weeks, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
At the same time, while there was hope that the Bundestag might give its final approval this week or in the near future, a series of questions from the parliament has resulted in postponing final approval until the fall session.
Once the LOI is signed, the countries’ defense ministries and sectors can start laying more concrete foundations for the deal’s specifics ahead of final approval.
Earlier in March it was reported – and the Post has confirmed – that the US approved the sale. This was one of several preconditions for the sale to go through, but not the final step.
On March 6, the Post reported that Germany might approve purchasing Israel’s Arrow 3 missile defense system as early as this week.
The delay of final approval
However, since then, the list of questions issued by the Bundestag have delayed the final approval, even as many of the preparations for effectuating the sale, presuming it goes through, will be able to continue in parallel.
In 2022, Germany’s attitude toward defense issues underwent a sea change following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Berlin’s understanding that if Moscow turned its military sights on Western Europe, that its current defenses would be highly inadequate.
US Patriot missile defense system
Germany possesses only the US Patriot missile defense system, which has had mixed results in the field, and is not viewed as necessarily adaptable to all of the many air-defense threats that countries face in 2023.
This led the German government and the military to press forward for approval to purchase the Arrow 3 from Israel, and then later from the US.
However, Germany’s parliamentary committee that supervises defense issues must separately sign off on the deal for it to go forward.
All of German society has seen a shift in views to being more willing to spend on defense following Russia’s invasion, but that does not mean that every item sought is guaranteed to be approved in a country where defense spending has been very low since World War II.
Although there are high hopes now from multiple countries and within elements of Germany that the parliamentary committee will approve the purchase, many are holding their breath until the approval is given.
Sources have insisted on remaining anonymous due to the volatile nature of the issue.