Documents obtained by AFP on Tuesday reveal that the German government has requested parliamentary approval for an upfront payment of nearly four billion euros ($4.3 billion) to acquire the advanced Arrow 3 air-defense system from Israel.
The Arrow 3 system is designed to intercept missiles outside Earth’s atmosphere and is capable of providing protection to neighboring European Union countries. Finance and defense ministry documents, viewed by AFP, indicate that the government has sought authorization from the budget committee in the lower house of parliament to allocate an advance payment of 560 million euros for this deterrent system. The total cost of the Arrow 3 system is projected to be approximately 3.99 billion euros, one billion euros more than the initial estimate.
Funding for this purchase will be derived from a landmark 100-billion-euro fund unveiled by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to enhance the nation’s defense capabilities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This decision represents a significant shift for Germany, which has historically underinvested in its armed forces.
If the agreement proceeds as planned, Germany anticipates receiving the Arrow 3 system in the last quarter of 2025. The German government has been actively advocating for reinforced NATO air defenses in Europe, particularly in response to Russia’s ongoing missile attacks on Ukraine. Germany has encouraged allies to jointly procure deterrence systems and has garnered participation from over a dozen European countries through the European Sky Shield initiative, aimed at safeguarding NATO airspace.
Germany views the Israeli-made Arrow 3 system as playing a pivotal role in these collective efforts. According to Bild newspaper, the associated radar system will be deployed across three sites in Germany, with monitoring data transmitted to a central location staffed by soldiers who will continuously monitor for potential threats. If a rocket attack is detected, an Arrow 3 missile will be deployed to intercept and destroy the threat in space. The radar system’s substantial capabilities extend protection to Poland, Romania, and the Baltic nations, as reported by Bild.