German lawmakers approve advance payments for Arrow 3 missile defence system

By Defence Industry Europe, Reuters

German lawmakers have authorized advance payments of up to EUR 560 million ahead of the planned purchase of Israel's Arrow 3 missile defence system. The system, designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside of the Earth's atmosphere, serves as the top layer of Israel's comprehensive missile defence array. The decision comes as Germany aims to bolster its defence capabilities and address the shortage of ground-based air defence systems in many Western nations amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The Arrow 3 missile defence system, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), is a critical component of Israel’s multi-tiered missile defence architecture. It provides advanced capabilities to detect, track, and intercept ballistic missiles, offering protection against long-range threats, including non-conventional warheads. The system operates at high altitudes, destroying incoming missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Germany intends to establish a government-to-government agreement with Israel for the purchase of the Arrow 3 system, with procurement documents from the finance ministry indicating plans to finalize the deal by the end of the year. As per the documents, Berlin acknowledges the possibility of losing part or all of the advance payments if the agreement fails. The advance payments are intended to compensate Israel for any costs incurred during the procurement process.



The German air force is expected to take delivery of the Arrow 3 system, albeit at a higher cost than initially planned, by the fourth quarter of 2025. The procurement of the Arrow 3 system is seen as a significant step for Germany in enhancing its defence capabilities and addressing the urgent need for advanced ground-based air and missile defence systems. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has underscored the importance of bolstering air defence capabilities in Western nations, exposing the shortage of such systems.

While Germany has existing Patriot air defence systems Patriot, they primarily cover the medium layer of air defence. The acquisition of the Arrow 3 system will provide Germany with a robust and comprehensive defence solution for the higher layer of air defence, further strengthening its ability to counter long-range ballistic missile threats.


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