Defense Ministry Director-General Eyal Zamir met with State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Defense, Mr. Benedikt Zimmer on Tuesday at the 2023 Paris Air Show to further advance plans for the sale of the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system to Germany.
Zamir thanked his counterpart for the Bundestag’s decision on June 14 to approve the commitment to commence a variety of activities toward implementation of the Israel-Germany Arrow 3 procurement agreement.
The director-general stated that it is a great honor for an Israeli system to assist Germany in protecting its citizens and added that the Israel Ministry of Defense is continually working to obtain the US administration’s approval for sale.
The Jerusalem Post has learned from a number of sources that the US approval is likely merely a question of when, and not if.
Last week, the German parliament approved a first advanced payment of 560 million euros to Israel toward the eventual cumulative payment of around $4.30 billion.
Germany is concerned about Russian threat
Despite numerous delays in the process in both the US and Germany since March - with one delay leading to postponing the originally planned visit of German Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz to Israel in April for Israel’s Independence Day celebrations - there is higher confidence now that the issue has turned the corner.
In 2022, Germany’s attitude toward defense issues underwent a sea change following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Berlin’s recognition that if Moscow turned its military sights on Western Europe, its current defenses would be highly inadequate.
Currently, 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 countries face in 2023.
German defense sources have confirmed that the country's national security establishment is genuinely concerned about future threats from Russia, and possibly even later from China.
This led the German government and the German military to press forward to get approval to purchase the Arrow 3 from Israel, and then later from the US.
If all goes as planned, Germany will take physical possession of new Arrow 3 batteries near the end of 2025.