Boeing to set up production line fo r Israel’s Arrow missiles
The American Boeing Space & Communications Group and Israel's state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) are expected to finalize by January-end an agreement for the joint-manufacturing of the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported.
IAI, the prime contractor of the national defense system, has sought co-production opportunities with an American partner in an effort to reduce the project’s costs and increase production rates. Boeing backed out of negotiations with IAI last year, claiming the market did not justify a separate production line for the Arrow in the US. The Department of Defense and Congress then decided to provide Boeing with a $20 million incentive to set up the facility, Globes reported.
Although the Boeing-IAI agreement refers only to the production of missiles designated for Israeli use, the participation of an American defense contractor may enable eventual marketing of the Arrow to third countries, the Military Procurement International suggested.
The Jerusalem Post has named South Korea, India, and Turkey among the countries that have expressed interest in purchasing the system. An Israeli Defense Ministry delegation is scheduled to arrive in Ankara later this month to discuss Turkey’s inclusion in the Arrow 2 project.
In mid-November the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee authorized Israel to use $200 million of its annual two billion dollar military aid package to finance the joint manufacture, according to Aerospace Daily. The US has so far underwritten about 65 percent of the Arrow’s development cost, which are projected to ultimately reach a total of two billion dollars.
Having taken 14 years to develop, the Arrow ABM is the only operational anti-missile missile system in the world. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)