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Germany eyes buying missile defense system after Russia's Ukraine invasion

In a landmark speech days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would sharply increase its defense spending.
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg Visits Berlin
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.Michael Sohn / Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

Germany is considering purchasing a missile defense system to shield against a potential attack from Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said late on Sunday.

“This is certainly one of the issues we are discussing, and for good reason,” he told public broadcaster ARD when asked whether Germany might buy a defense system such as Israel’s Iron Dome.

He did not specify what type of system Berlin was considering.

When asked whether Germany aimed to procure a missile defense system with a longer range than its existing Patriot batteries, Scholz said: “We need to be aware that we have a neighbor who is prepared to use violence to enforce their interests.”

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported earlier a missile defense shield for the whole territory of Germany was one of the topics discussed when Scholz met with Eberhard Zorn, Germany’s chief of defense.

Specifically, they spoke about a possible acquisition of the Israeli “Arrow 3” system, the paper said.

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report. Israel’s defense ministry had no immediate comment.

Andreas Schwarz, a member of parliament for Scholz’ Social Democrats who is a budget spokesperson, told the newspaper such a system made sense.

“We must protect ourselves better against the threat from Russia. For this, we need a Germany-wide missile defense shield quickly,” he told the newspaper, adding: “The Israeli Arrow 3 system is a good solution.”

In a landmark speech days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Scholz announced that Germany would sharply increase its defense spending to more than 2% of its economic output and inject $110 billion into defense.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of parliament’s defense committee, said Germany should consider various options for missile defense, including against high-flying ballistic missiles which enter space for part of their flight.

“Israel produces such a system and it makes sense to not only look into different scenarios but also to potentially buy it as soon as possible,” she told Welt television.