Germany considers purchase of Israeli anti-missile system

The $2.19 billion system would offer protection against potential threats from Russia, Berlin says

Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system is launched to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, above the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on May 17, 2021. AFP

Germany is considering purchasing a missile defence system as protection against a potential attack from Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.

A missile system is being discussed "for good reason", he told state television channel ARD on Sunday.

“We must better protect ourselves against the Russian threat,” Social Democratic Party member Andreas Schwarz, who sits on the parliamentary budget committee, told Bild.

“To do that, we need quickly an anti-missile shield for Germany.

He described Israel's long-range Arrow 3 system as a "good solution".

The system, which costs 2 billion euros ($2.19bn), could be operational from 2025, Bild reported.

The corresponding radar system would be installed in three sites in Germany, and the monitoring data transmitted to a central site where soldiers would watch for threats.

If a rocket attack is uncovered, an Arrow 3 would intercept and destroy the missile in space.

The radar system is powerful enough to provide cover for Poland, Romania and the Baltic nations, Bild reported.

“We can put the 'Iron Dome' over our neighbouring countries. We would then play a key role for the security of Europe,” Mr Schwarz said.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who leads the parliamentary defence committee, said Berlin was considering the purchase.

“Given the threat situation and the different weapons systems that Russia has, of course you have to look at that, so in that sense it makes sense,” she told Welt.

After years of underinvestment in defence, Germany has announced an about-turn owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On February 27, Mr Scholz said Germany would establish a special budget of 100bn euros to bolster its defence capabilities.

He said Berlin would spend more than 2 per cent of its output a year on defence, outstripping Nato's target of 2 per cent that Germany has consistently failed to meet.

Updated: March 28, 2022, 8:54 AM