New interest has arisen among foreign countries in purchasing the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Countries like Poland, Ukraine and South Korea have all expressed interest in purchasing the system, but the US has once again taken the lead and is the first country to purchase the very system that only months earlier they had refused to fund, NRG reported.
The US has attained one battery, and pending trials, will invest in purchasing numerous other Iron Dome batteries for their offshore military assets, having little or no need for anti-missile defense systems on the homefront.
In the early stages of development and deployment, the US was not confident that the Iron Dome system would be effective. This led US officials to not allocate a funding for the system among the regular military aid payments that the US gives Israel. Rather, a separate budget had to be created specifically for the defensive system after Israel had solely funded the creation and deployment of the first two batteries.
Private Israeli defense firm Rafael has agreed to work with US-based Raytheon group to develop one battery on US soil. The development of this battery will allow Israel to purchase future batteries from the US under the regular yearly aid package that Israel receives, thereby cutting down costs for the Israeli taxpayers.
The joint venture between Rafael and Raytheon will also allow the partner countries to offer other interested parties to purchase the Iron Dome system.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited the US last week to discuss a variety of potential partnerships between the two nations. During the visit, Ya’alon cancelled an order for six V-22 heliplanes claiming financial constraints on the IAF budget. Also discussed was the increase of the manufacturing of ‘Leopard’ APC’s on US soil.