German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his nation is considering acquisition of a missile defense system to shield against a potential attack from Russia.
By Erin Viner
The Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that Chancellor Scholz and German Defense Minister Eberhard Zorn have discussed possible acquisition of the Israeli “Arrow 3” system during discussion on a missile defence shield to cover the entire country.
Israel’s Arrow Weapon System (AWS) is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside of the earth’s atmosphere. The AWS is a central part of Jerusalem’s multi-layered defense array that also includes the Iron Dome Defense System and David’s Sling Weapon System.
Andreas Schwarz, a member of parliament for Scholz’ Social Democrats who is a budget spokesperson, told the German paper that “the Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution” to Berlin’s need to acquire “a Germany-wide missile defense shield quickly” to “protect ourselves better against the threat from Russia.”
When asked by the public ARD broadcaster whether Germany might buy a defense system such as Israel’s Iron Dome, Chancellor Scholz said, “This is certainly one of the issues we are discussing, and for good reason.”
Germany already possesses Patriot anti-missile batteries, but Israel’s Arrow or Iron Dome missile defense systems have longer ranges. “We need to be aware that we have a neighbor who is prepared to use violence to enforce their interests,” underscored Scholz.
In a powerful address just days after Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Scholz announced that Berlin would sharply increase defense spending to more than 2% of its economic output, including the allocation of an addition 100 billion euros ($110 billion) into the security sector.
The head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary Defense Committee Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said Germany must also prepare itself against high-flying ballistic missiles which enter space for part of their flight.
“Israel produces such a system and it makes sense to not only look into different scenarios but also to potentially buy it as soon as possible,” she said while speaking to the German Welt television news channel.
Neither the German nor Israeli Defense Ministries have yet commented on the reports.
A series of interception tests of the Trophy system integrated on the German Leopard 2 main battle tank were completed successfully, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) Spokesperson’s Office announced in a statement obtained by TV7.