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Germany and Israel sign joint declaration of intent on Arrow

Germany and Israel signed a joint declaration of intent on 28 September on the procurement of the Arrow Weapon System for the Luftwaffe. (IAI)

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, signed a joint declaration of intent in Berlin on 28 September on Germany's procurement of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) for the Luftwaffe.

Pistorius said afterwards in a joint press conference with Gallant that “the Arrow system will prepare German air defence for the future”, with the system defending Germany from ballistic missiles. He added that the system would be part of NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence, offering Germany's neighbours protection.

Pistorius described the signing of the joint declaration of intent with Israel as a first step in the procurement of the AWS, which together with the approval by the budget committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, in June would allow the system to begin to be used starting by the end of 2025. The first system elements will be available to the Luftwaffe in 2025, with the initial operational capability planned by the fourth quarter of that year, according to the German Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Pistorius said Arrow would provide the upper tier of Germany's air defences; IRIS-T SLM (Surface Launched Medium Range) ground-based air-defence systems the lower tier, funding of which was also approved by the Bundestag's budget committee in June; and the Luftwaffe's Patriot medium-range air-defence system the middle tier.

Gallant described Germany's Arrow procurement as Israel's biggest defence deal.

The US government approved the sale of the AWS to Germany in August.

The AWS was developed by the Israeli MoD's Directorate of Defense Research and Development (MAFAT) and the US Missile Defense Agency.

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