Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified individuals in a photo caption.
JERUSALEM — The governments of Germany and Israel, as well as Israel Aerospace Industries, are in “advanced negotiations” over delivering the Arrow 3 air defense system to Germany, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.
The ministry said in an April 20 statement that the countries “have launched discussions regarding the drafting of an agreement for the procurement of the Arrow-3 system.”
Photos provided by the ministry showed an Israeli delegation in Germany meeting with their counterparts. Moshe Patel, the director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, led the team and is pictured with several officials, including Col. Carsten Koepper, the head of the program that could see the Arrow 3 exported to Germany, and Israeli personnel associated with the division charged with the country’s upper-tier air defense architecture as well as the head of the Arrow weapon system engineering department.
“The launch of advanced negotiations for the delivery of the strategic Arrow-3 system to Germany is an important milestone, which further strengthens the ties between our countries. We look forward to a fruitful negotiation process in the weeks ahead of us,” Patel said.
An export of this kind would be contingent on U.S. approval, the Israeli statement noted, given the Arrow system was jointly developed with the American government.
Israel Aerospace Industries, which is the prime contractor of the system, praised the development. “The cutting-edge Arrow-3 system plays a central role in Israel’s multi-tier air defense array. We value the opportunity to share our capabilities with the partners and allies of the State of Israel. Within the framework of this agreement, we further deepen our security ties between Israel and Germany,” CEO Boaz Levy said.
The Arrow 3 is part of Israel’s multilayered air defense architecture. Along with the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, the Arrow weapon provides the upper tier, which is responsible for intercepting and countering exo-atmospheric ballistic missiles.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization — part of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate for Defense Research and Development — and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency jointly developed the system. In 2015, Israel said the technology successfully engaged a ballistic missile target for the first time. Other successful tests followed, including as recently as 2019.
Last year, the German Air Force acknowledged it was considering the Arrow 3 as an option to counter threats such as the Russian Iskander missile. The news came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement of advanced negotiations follows the sale of David’s Sling to Finland. The U.S. also helped develop that air defense system. Israel has also recently sold Spike missiles to Greece, and other countries in Europe have developed Israeli radars made by Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, that are used with the Iron Dome interceptor.
The Israeli Defense Ministry and IAI did not mention the possible value of a contract with Germany or a timeline for negotiations and potential delivery. Neither responded to Defense News’ requests for further details by press time.
Seth J. Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflict in the Mideast since 2010 for different publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.