The US Congress on Monday approved a record $705 million for Israel’s missile defense programs in 2018.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced that the increase of funding was requested for production of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow 3 missile defense systems. Liberman said: "This is the highest aid budget ever. We will use the money for mass production of Iron Dome, David's Sling, and Arrow 3 interceptors, and for future development of the multi-layer defense system against future threats.”
According to media reports, $375 million will be allocated to continued development of the Arrow missile, while most of the remaining $330 million will be allocated to procurement contracts from US industries.
The original allocation for ballistic defense was $9.5 billion. Congress increased it in order to pay for expenses in 2017 related to measures for dealing with the threat from North Korea.
The increase in the budget will also be used for further trials of all systems as Israel and the US continue to develop additional capabilities for them against future aerial threats.
“I thank our great friend the United States, which has invested $6.5 billion to defend the skies of the State of Israel. We are grateful for the assistance and uncompromising commitment of the administration and Congress to Israel’s security,” LIberman said.