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US approves Arrow sale to Germany

The US government has approved the sale of the AWS to Germany. (IAI)

The US government has approved the sale of the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) to Germany, the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) announced on its website on 17 August. The approval paves the way for the IMOD, the German Ministry of Defence (MoD), and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to sign a USD3.5 billion agreement on the procurement, Israel's largest ever defence deal, according to the IMOD.

The Israeli and German MoDs will sign a letter of commitment to start work immediately on the procurement, with Germany initially committing USD600 million and the full contract expected to be signed in November 2023.

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

The budget committee of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, approved the procurement of the AWS on 14 June, along with six IRIS-T SLM (Surface Launched Medium Range) ground-based air-defence systems.

The initial operational capability of Germany's AWS is planned for the fourth quarter of 2025, according to the German MoD.

The AWS procurement is aimed at filling Germany's capability gap in territorial missile defence for its population and critical infrastructure. It will also strengthen NATO air-defence capabilities, according to the German MoD.

The AWS consists of a command-and-control post, radar systems, launchers, and Arrow 3 missiles and is capable of detecting and intercepting ballistic missiles and destroying them outside the earth's atmosphere with a hit-to-kill capability.

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