U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and James Inhofe (R-OK) today urged the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees to allocate approximately $260 million for the U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. As the House and Senate conferees work out differences on the NDAA, Senators Gillibrand and Inhofe urged adoption of language that allocates the full $260 million provided by the appropriators.
Senators Gillibrand and Inhofe wrote in a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ), House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon (R-CA), and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), "As witnessed by the recent attacks on Israel from Gaza, the continued joint efforts of the United States and Israel in missile defense systems is critical to protecting this close U.S. ally and American interests in that region . The technology yields results that both of our militaries will utilize in our respective defense systems. U.S. funding is fully matched by that of Israel. This is, in short, a win-win."
The Senators pointed out that the Iron Dome air defense system, which was developed in 2007 to counter rockets and short-range missiles against attacks, was critical in intercepting and destroying an estimated 400 rockets before they reached Israeli soil and caused widespread devastation. The recent successful test of the David's Sling weapon system highlights the opportunity to increase funding in order to complete the development of the U.S-Israel cooperative missile defense programs, allowing Israel to defend its citizens from hostile threats.