US greenlights Israeli sale of David's Sling air defense system to Finland

US greenlights Israeli sale of David's Sling air defense system to Finland

Finland to receive missiles, launchers, radar systems under $345 million deal

By Enes Canli

JERUSALEM (AA) — Israel announced on Thursday that the US had approved the sale of a co-developed an advanced air defense system to Finland.

With the €316 million ($345 million) sale, Finland will become the first country to possess the medium- and long-range system known as "David's Sling," the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Finland will receive missiles, launchers, and radar systems under the deal to be signed between Tel Aviv and Helsinki, as well as Israeli state-run company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Finland's version of the missile defense system will be jointly developed by Rafael, US company Raytheon, and Finnish industries, the statement said.

"Under the procurement agreement, Israel will sell the David's Sling Weapon System to Finland, which includes Israeli-U.S. co-produced interceptors and Israeli-produced missile launchers and radar systems," it added.

The David's Sling system, jointly developed by Israel and the US in 2017, can intercept enemy aircraft, drones, ballistic missiles, and medium- to long-range rockets.

Tel Aviv said it was first used in active combat against rockets fired from the Gaza Strip during Israel's attacks on the region in May this year.

The sale comes after reports in Israeli media suggesting that Tel Aviv could step up defense exports to Western nations amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

"The approval granted by the U.S. government today for the sale of the David’s Sling, a co-developed system by Israel and the United States, marks a significant step towards the realization of a historic agreement between Israel and Finland," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was quoted as saying in the statement.

*Writing by Esra Tekin in Istanbul

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