US to finance more Iron Dome batteries

The Senate-House budget deal includes $220 million for Israel to buy additional Iron Dome batteries as requested by President Obama.

Tuesday's budget deal between the chairpersons of the US Senate and House of Representatives budget committees includes hundreds of millions of dollars in increased military aid for Israel. The agreement still has to be passed by both houses of Congress.

The deal cancels most of the sequester items, which affected the Pentagon, and increases the Pentagon's missile defense budget by $358 million to $9.5 billion. The increase includes more military aid for Israel for the joint development of anti-missile systems, which is a separate budget item from the annual $3.1 billion military aid program.

"Reuters" reports, "The measure authorizes $173 million in added funding for US-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs, including nearly $34 million to improve the Arrow weapon system and $22 million for work on developing an upper-tier interceptor. The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) has worked with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) on the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 interceptors. It also includes $117.2 million for development of the David's Sling short-range ballistic missile defense system, which is being developed jointly by Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).

"A new interceptor being developed by Israel and the United States to counter missiles that are held by Syria and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerillas passed a second live trial last month, according to a summary released by the committees.

"The measure also backed President Barack Obama's request of $220 million for Israel to buy additional Iron Dome short-range interceptors and batteries, and added $15 million to establish a US co-production capability for Iron Dome parts. Raytheon has a joint marketing agreement with Rafael for the Iron Dome system.

"In addition, the measure requires a report on US-Israeli missile defense cooperation, and better reporting by the Missile Defense Agency on the full cost of operating and maintaining missile defense systems."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 11, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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