Jan 25, 2011

Funding Secured for Missile Systems

David DolanBy David Dolan

As the largest single recipient of American foreign aid, the Israeli government has been closely following Congressional budget deliberations in Washington DC. Officials have been especially concerned that pending cuts in the Defense Department’s projected spending in the coming years might adversely affect several large weapons projects based in Israel.

Among the most important projects is the sophisticated Arrow anti-missile system, which is designed to intercept enemy missiles in the skies above the Jewish state. A smaller defense system called Iron Dome is also being jointly developed with American financial assistance. That system will help shield Israeli civilian communities and military bases from short-range rocket attacks launched by Palestinian Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip or by Shiite Hizbullah militiamen in Lebanon.

Several prominent US legislators have helped to relieve Israel’s fears that current US spending levels for the two systems, which stands at over 400 million dollars, could be cut back. Texas Republican Kay Granger, the new head of the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, has made clear that she wants to maintain current funding levels for the Arrow and Iron Dome programs.

Related Links

U.S. Set to Maintain Support for Israeli Antimissile Programs - Global Security Newswire
IDF's technological superiority must be defended - Ha'aretz
Israeli defense merger gets green light - UPI
'Time will probably come' when Israel launches attack on Iran: Israeli sergeant - National Post
Clinton Wary of Hezbollah-Controlled Lebanon - Voice of America