Israel and the United States have teamed up to export the Arrow anti-missile system to South Korea for $1 billion. Israel denies the report by Defense News.
If the deal goes through, it will be the first export by Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), with India another potential customer.
The report maintains that both the American and Israel governments have given the green light for exporting the Arrow system to South Korea despite the Defense Ministry’s denial.
“There’s still a long way to go, but we and our Israeli partners are working very persistently to be able to provide this phenomenal capability to South Korea, an important US ally,” Boeing Roger Krone executive told Defense News.
Exports of that magnitude would improve Israel’s export trade and strengthen the Israeli economy and the shekel, which has lost approximately 10 percent of its value the past year.
Boeing and IAI last week announced they are expanding their partnership beyond development of the Arrow systems, but they did not provide details except to state they aim “to explore and develop new opportunities in the missile defense arena."
The magazine added, "While Israel is pushing ahead with the sale of the Arrow, the South Korean government has made no effort to introduce a high-altitude interceptor because of fears over potential backlash from neighboring countries, including China. South Korea is also preparing to build its own low-tier and medium-range missile defense systems.”
Now that the Pentagon is willing export the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, India is a prime potential customer,
U.S. Asst. Secretary of Defense Robert Scher told an Indian news agency, “We are really open to it. This is something we ask them if they are interested in."
“If the U.S. government allows ballistic-missile defense exports to India, it will represent a very inviting prospect for the IAI-Boeing team,” former Israeli Missile Defense Organization director Uzi Rubin told Defense News.
“I don’t see the US refusing us the opportunity to export Arrow if the other US systems are allowed to compete."