Today, Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Brian Mast (FL-18) announced the bipartisan U.S.-Israel Joint Missile Defense Act to further develop the Arrow 3 system to help advance America’s interests in the volatile region and protect our vital, democratic ally. The Act will authorize the Secretary of Defense to conduct a test in the U.S. in 2018 of the exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile defense program.
“As the threat of terror explodes in the unstable Middle East, it’s critical that we defend our vital ally, Israel, and strengthen our military partnership. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to advance the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system — another critical step toward protecting Israel and the region from the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “With a fully-operational Arrow 3 system, Israel will maintain its qualitative military edge by preventing long-range missiles from striking Israeli targets.”
“Following my time in the Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy and mutual respect for all people,” Rep. Brian Mast said. “There is undoubtedly a mutual benefit to the security of our nations in collaborating on missile defense. This bipartisan legislation would expedite the development of the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system, which is absolutely critical to Israel’s defense and stability in the Middle East.”
The grave threat of missile attacks on Israel has been growing in both capacity and strength. Last year, Iran successfully launched two “Qadr II” ballistic missiles at a target in southeastern Iran approximately 870 miles away, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. The missiles were inscribed with the slogan, “Israel should be wiped off the Earth.” Hezbollah, designated by the Department of State as a terrorist organization, has an arsenal of approximately 120,000 to 150,000 rockets aimed at Israel.
In April, Congressman Gottheimer submitted testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, requesting full funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3. Congressman Gottheimer’s testimony can be found HERE.
The text of the U.S.-Israel Joint Missile Defense Act can be found HERE.