Forty members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter urging immediate examination of the feasibility of purchasing the Iron Dome missile defense system from Israel, Globes reported on Sunday.
The representatives said, “Today, our forces face challenges from an emboldened, aggressive, and increasingly militarized Russia, North Korea, and other adversaries heightening our immediate need for advanced missile defense systems to protect our forward-based forces and key fixed installations.
“One option we believe the Subcommittee [House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense] should carefully study would be supporting the U.S. Army’s immediate acquisition of the Iron Dome system. The Army has recently tested Iron Dome, for which the U.S. has full data rights and a coproduction agreement. Adoption by the Army of Iron Dome could provide an important near-term capability to U.S. forces as well as a surge production capacity if we or Israel required the system in a time of crisis.”
Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) also call for a budget of $500 million for support of Israeli missile and rocket defense systems in the 2019 fiscal year.
That $500 million is the same as the amount being proposed by the White House for this purpose. Under the memorandum of understanding on U.S. military aid to Israel over the next ten years, from fiscal year 2019, Israel will receive $3.8 billion annually, consisting of $3.3 billion military aid (versus $3.1 billion previously) plus $500 million for developing missile and rocket defense systems. Congress must authorize the expenditure every year.