Finland has agreed to buy the David’s Sling missile defense system from Israel for approximately 316 million euros—and just days later it was announced Greece purchased anti-tank missiles valued at another 370 million euros—in further evidence that Israel is a world leader in advanced weaponry. “This is a vote of confidence in the Israeli defense establishment and a quantum leap in the defense collaboration between Finland and Israel,” Director‐General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir said in an Israeli press release on the Finland deal.
The David’s Sling system is built to intercept a number of intermediate-range aerial threats, including cruise missiles, aircraft and UAVs. The press release noted that this will be the first-ever export of the David’s Sling abroad by Israel.
Meanwhile, the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense in Greece has agreed to buy Spike anti-tank guided missiles, joining the more than three dozen nations that already use the advanced Israeli technology. Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant was quoted in a press release on that deal as saying, “This project joins a series of agreements between the State of Israel and the Hellenic Republic, and further emphasizes the strong partnership between our countries and our defense establishments, as well as our mutual commitment to ensuring regional stability.
“I commend our defense industries—our technological capabilities enable the State of Israel to make positive economic and political achievements.”
Israel’s selling of advanced weaponry, including the missile defense systems like the David’s Sling jointly developed with the United States, do more than just provide economic benefit. Finland, facing perennial foe Russia, will have an important new piece in their national defense. Commander of the Finnish Air Force Maj Gen Juha‐Pekka Keranen was quoted in the press release as saying of the David’s Sling: “The system will significantly strengthen the capability of Finland’s air defense. Together with the commissioning of the F‐35 and the already fielded ground‐based air defense systems in service, the air defense of Finland will be very substantial on the European scale.”
Given the US involvement in producing the David’s Sling, Israel is seeking export approval from the US. Contractors from the US, Israel and Finland will work together to set up the system in the Scandinavian country.
“The Finnish government’s decision to acquire the David’s Sling system reflects the strong defense ties between our countries, as well as the cutting-edge capabilities of Israel’s defense industries,” Defense Minister Gallant was quoted as saying in the press release.
“…I am confident that the cooperation between our countries will further enhance our readiness to respond to regional and global threats.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 18, 2023)