The U.S. Defense Department’s fiscal year 2017 budget has asked for about $146 million to go towards Israeli defense, including for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and other missile defense systems, Pentagon documents released this week have revealed.
The Iron Dome system protects Israelis against short-range missiles and rockets that could be launched by Palestinian terror groups from Hamas-ruled Gaza on Israel’s southern front, or by Lebanon-based Hezbollah on the northern front. David’s Sling is a medium-range missile interceptor set to be implemented this year along with the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor. All three systems are meant to collectively protect Israel from multi-lateral threats along its borders, especially those from Iranian-sponsored terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The 2017 U.S. defense budget predicted spending $540 million on Israeli defense and cooperative programs over the next five years, with no additional funding for the Iron Dome expected after 2017.
According to the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral James Syring, the agency is currently working with Israel on the Iron Dome system through a co-production agreement. A share of the production work that is “not insignificant” has been passed on to several U.S. firms, said Syring, Reuters reported.