Wednesday June 19, 2024

Finland signs €317m air defence purchase deal with Israel

Published : 12 Nov 2023, 20:39

Updated : 12 Nov 2023, 20:45

  DF Report
Finland-Israel on Sunday signed a deal on €317m air defence purchase. Photo: Israeli Ministry of Defence.

Finland on Sunday signed a deal with Israel to procure David's Sling air defence system at a cost of about 317 million euros, said the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

“Director General MG (Res) Eyal Zamir signed an agreement for the sale of the "David's Sling" to Finland valued at approx. 317 million EUR. It is one of the world's leading systems for intercepting advanced threats including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft & drones,” the ministry wrote in a post in social media X.

The Israeli ministry in a release said that the signing ceremony held at the Israeli Ministry of Defense Headquarters where Ambassador of Finland to Israel Nina Nordström and Finnish Defence Attaché to Israel, Col. Oula Asteljoki, President and CEO of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Yoav Har-Even, Head of the IMOD's Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D), Daniel Gold and Head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the DDR&D, Moshe Patel were present among others.

The David's Sling is one of the world's leading systems for intercepting advanced threats, including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft and drones, said the ministry.

The system has demonstrated high-performance capabilities in the ongoing war in a range of challenging scenarios.

The David's Sling system is jointly developed by the IMDO within the Israel Ministry of Defense's DDR&D and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) together with primary contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Earlier in August this year, the United States approved the sale of a co-developed missile defense system to Finland.

The ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, which killed thousands of people including women and children so far, however, did not impact the deal, although criticism raised among the leaders of opposition political parties.

“Finland and Israel have just signed a contract for the Israeli David's Sling air defence system. The contract is worth €317 million. This is a disgrace. The arms trade justifies the killing of civilians in Gaza and the apartheidsystem of Israel,” a lawmaker of the Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance) Veronika Honkasalo wrote in a post in her social media platform X on Sunday evening.

Earlier in April this year, Finnish Ministry of Defence announced that Finnish Defence Forces will procure the David's Sling system as the next long-range air defence system of Finland.