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Israel Announces Sale of Air Defense System to New NATO Member Finland

Israel’s defense ministry on Sunday announced a 317 million euro ($340 million) deal for the sale of its David’s Sling air defense system to new NATO member Finland.

Calling it a “historic agreement,” the ministry said the system jointly developed by Israeli and US companies can intercept ballistic and cruise missiles, aircraft, and drones.

The announcement comes after Israel in September signed a $3.5-billion deal — the biggest ever for the small country’s outsized arms sector — to sell its Arrow 3 hypersonic missile system to Germany.

The long-range Arrow 3 system was also jointly developed and produced by companies in Israel and its top ally the United States, and the sale had to be approved by Washington before it could be finalized.

That deal came as Germany has led a push to bolster NATO’s air defenses in Europe after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, urging allies to buy deterrence systems together.

Newly minted NATO member Finland was also quick to announce plans to buy an Israeli defense system against aircraft, rockets, and missiles.

Analysts say the ongoing war in Ukraine is likely to further increase European demand for Israeli arms.

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