Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Congress mulls $680M for Israeli Iron Dome
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Apr 23, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may be at odds with U.S. President Barack Obama but the U.S. Congress is expected to hand Israeli $680 million to pay for more batteries of the Iron Dome counter-rocket systems to shield the Jewish state.

That'll be the second time in a year that the Americans have stepped in to underwrite the system developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Iron Dome is the bottom layer of a planned four-tier, anti-missile defense system.

It's also on top of the $3 billion in military aid for Israel by the United States as well as billions more in loans and grants.

Meantime, the Israeli air force is scheduled to take delivery of an advanced model of the Arrow-2 missile interceptor in the next few weeks. Arrow, built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the U.S. Boeing Co., has been heavily subsidized by the United States for two decades.

The Iron Dome bill was put together by House of Representatives Republicans led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon, R-Calif.

They and other Republicans, diehard supporters or Israel, have rounded on the administration for seeking to cut back military aid to the Jewish state amid major cuts in U.S. defense spending.

They told Obama in a Feb. 14 letter: "We are deeply concerned that at a time of rising threats to our strongest ally in the Middle East, the administration is requesting record-low support for this vital defense cooperation program."

Obama is quarreling with Netanyahu over West Bank settlements and threats to attack Iran but he also faces a stiff re-election fight in November so it's not likely he'll oppose giving Israel another $680 million for Iron Dome through 2015, on top of the $205 million he authorized in fiscal 2011.

The bill's likely to come under scrutiny this week when the House Armed Services Committee begins putting together the 2013 Defense Authorization Act.

Israel's Defense Ministry, beset by controversial cuts in Israel's defense budget and concerns of new conflict in the Middle East, is grappling with the problem of funding costly plans to build a multilayered shield against an unprecedented missile and rocket bombardment.

Ministry sources say, for instance, that $3.9 billion is needed to produce more batteries of the long-range, high-altitude Arrow system.

Israeli officials said in early April that the ministry is seeking $700 million from the United States to pay for at least four additional Iron Dome batteries to reinforce the three already deployed.

That more or less tallies with the $680 million now being sought by Republicans in Congress.

In March a bipartisan group introduced the Iron Dome Support Act in Congress authorizing the administration to provide more funds to Israel to extend the air-defense system.

Another reason why the administration is expected to heed the Republicans' request is to encourage Netanyahu to heed U.S. entreaties to hold off an assault on Iran, which Washington fears would trigger a regional war.

Israel's Ynet Web site, the online service of the mass-circulation Yediot Ahronot daily, acknowledged in April that "the U.S. Congress and administration's apparent willingness to allocate the funds may be seen as an attempt to incentivize Israel to delay its decision vis-a-vis a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities."

The Arrow, designed to destroy ballistic missiles at high altitudes, has also been heavily funded by the United States since it began development in May 1986. The program's projected cost in 1986 was $1.6 billion but by 2007 it had cost $2.4 billion, with up to 80 percent provided by Washington. Israel's contribution was $65 million a year.

The upgraded interceptor will contain new software to increase its accuracy against long-range missiles like Iran's Shehab-3b and Sejjil 2, and Syria's Scud-Ds.

Arrow-3, the next model, is under development and is intended to intercept ballistic missiles outside Earth's atmosphere and could serve as an anti-satellite weapon.

The first Arrow battery was deployed south of Tel Aviv in 2000. A second battery is deployed in northern Israel.

Arrow-3 will comprise the top tier of Israel's anti-missile network, with Arrow 2 the next layer down. Below that will be David's Sling, being developed by Rafael to counter medium-range missiles.


Related Links
Learn about missile defense at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

NATO to declare missile shield without Putin: Rasmussen
Moscow (AFP) March 26, 2012
NATO will announce the completion of the first stage of a controversial missile defence shield at a May summit that will not include Russian leader Vladimir Putin, its chief said Monday. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western military bloc intended to announce the deployment of the first "interim" phase of a missile defence shield for Europe at the summit in Chicago. ... read more

Winners of 19th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race Announced

Russian Space Agency eyes Moon explorations

Russia postpones Luna-Glob moon mission

Russia Plans to Launch Lunar Rovers to Moon after 2020

Opportunity Benefits From Brighter Skies and Small Dust Cleaning of Solar Panels

Human health on Mars mission discussed

Bringing Mars Back to Earth

Asteroid Craters On Earth Give Clues In Search For Life On Mars

Boeing, NASA Sign Agreement on Mission Support for CST-100

Parachutes for NASA crew capsule tested

NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew

Dwindling US Space Budget Worries Scientist

China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

Three for Tiangong

Russian cargo ship docks at International Space Station

Russian Cargo Craft Launches to Station

Commercial Platform Offers Exposure at ISS

Learn to dock ATV the astronaut way

Aerojet Delivers 50th Flight-Ready Solid Rocket Booster to ULA

SpaceX said eyeing Texas launch site

Lockheed Martin Names New Leader for Commercial Launch Services Business

A double arrival for Arianespace's next dual-payload Ariane 5 mission

Some Stars Capture Rogue Planets

ALMA Reveals Workings of Nearby Planetary System

UF-led team uses new observatory to characterize low-mass planets orbiting nearby star

When Stellar Metallicity Sparks Planet Formation

New Research Could Mean Cellphones That Can See Through Walls

SciTechTalk: Apple rumors du jour

US judge allows tech 'poaching' suit to proceed

Hollywood studios lose landmark download case

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement