German lawmakers on Wednesday green-lit millions of euros in advanced payments ahead of the Federal Republic’s purchase of the Israeli Arrow-3 missile-defense system.
Germany wants the system to defend against the threat of Russian missiles.
Jerusalem in a statement welcomed the financial commitment approved by the Bundestag’s Budget and Defense Committee, saying that Israeli officials are “continuing discussions with their German counterparts to finalize the procurement contract,” which Germany aims to have signed by the end of the year, pending American approval of the sale.
The system, among the most advanced of its kind, was jointly developed by the Israeli Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
“Israel Ministry of Defense officials maintain ongoing communication with the American administration to ensure the necessary sales approval,” the statement said.
Germany plans to purchase the Arrow-3 system for almost €4 billion ($4.30 billion), with the advanced payments of up to €560 million ($606 million) being forfeited should the deal fall through to compensate Israel for costs incurred.
The German Air Force would take delivery of the system, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, by the fourth quarter of 2025.
Should the agreement be completed, Germany would become the first foreign purchaser of the system. Israel and Germany had been in talks previously regarding the Arrow 3, but a deal was delayed due to the lack of a green light from the United States for Israel to export the system.
Israel sold a record $12.6 billion in defense exports in 2022, the Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems and drones accounted for 25% of the exports, followed by missiles, rockets and air-defense systems at 19%.