Germany In Talks For $18BN National Missile Defense Shield After Poking The Bear
Now finding itself a leading European decision-maker when it comes to provocative actions such as NATO allies sending main battle tanks for Ukraine, Germany is all too aware it is poking the Russian bear. And now as part of a drastic ramping up in defense spending, a complete about-face compared to just one year ago, Germany is looking to establish a nation-wide missile defense shield, at an immense overall cost.
"Germany is in talks with several defense manufacturers to build a multi-layered, anti-missile shield that could cost as much as €17 billion ($18.5 billion), according to people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg reports.
According to more details, "Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government is in negotiations with Bavarian-based manufacturer Diehl Defence to procure up to eight IRIS-T anti-missile systems with a contract volume of €2 billion to €3 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private."
These are expected to be but the first phase in implementing a comprehensive multi-layered system. Each IRIS-T battery can fire missiles over 40km to intercept fighter jets, drones, or in bound cruise missiles.
The irony with this latest news of the impending purchase is that Berlin actually supplied Ukraine before it supplied itself...
First, a Reuters report points out that "In October, Ukraine received the first of four IRIS-T air defence systems pledged by Germany to help Kyiv protect its cities from missile and drone attacks."
But then the same report admits that "The German armed forces themselves do not currently own the system built by privately held German arms maker Diehl and considered among the world's most advanced."
Berlin is looking ahead at a moment many Western officials and pundits have expressed concern the Ukraine war could spread West, and deeper into Europe. At this moment it's clear that Germany would be woefully unprepared if conflict showed up on its doorstep, especially after having sent costly advanced missile defense batteries off to Ukraine.