NATO member eyes Israel’s top weapon – Haaretz — Analysis

Romania is “very keen” to acquire Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday. Romanian Defense Minister Vasile dincu stated that he would like to increase weapons sales from the Jewish State, regardless of the outcome.

Romania’s interest in the deal, which would make it the first NATO country to field the Israeli system, was attributed by Haaretz to anonymous sources. The news comes after Dincu visited Israel last week.

Dincu said Bucharest’s wishes, although he did not mention Iron Dome when he spoke to the newspaper. “to improve our military and security cooperation with Israel in many areas.”

“We want to learn from Israel how to improve [our] military,”He elaborated. “Because of its experience, Israel has the best knowledge of the subject.”

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Iron Dome is a joint project of the US and Israel. It was launched in 2011 by Israel. It most recently saw action during Israel’s three-day operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in August, with Israel claiming that its radars and missile batteries detected and intercepted 97% of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

Although the Israeli system appears to be very efficient, it has not been successful in finding foreign buyers. While a number of nations – including Canada, Finland, India, and Singapore – have bought its radar component, only the US and Azerbaijan are confirmed to have bought its missile batteries, with the US Army buying only two. According to reports, Cyprus agreed to purchase the system in December, and Germany may also be interested.

Romania’s interest in Israeli weaponry is also financial. Romanian factories already manufacture components for Israeli drones, turrets and other equipment, and Dincu wants to expand on this, and to sell Israeli arms to Romania’s NATO allies.

As the US jointly developed the Iron Dome, any sale of the system to a foreign country needs Washington’s approval.

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