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Germany, NATO allies agree to purchase new system to boost EU air defense

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Germany's defence minister Christine Lambrecht attends a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 12, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Germany and 13 other members of the US-led NATO military alliance have signed a letter of intent to jointly purchase air defense systems in the category of systems such as the Israeli regime's Arrow 3, US Patriot and German IRIS-T units in order to enhance the air and missile defense capabilities.

The letter, signed on Thursday, calls for the development of the so-called "European Sky Shield Initiative" and aims to establish a European air and missile defense system through the joint procurement of air defense equipment and missiles by European countries, insisting that it would enhance NATO's integrated air and missile defense.

"With this initiative, we are living up to our joint responsibility for security in Europe - by bundling our resources," German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said during a ceremony at NATO's Brussels headquarters.

The participating countries in the ceremony were Germany, Britain, Slovakia, Norway, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovenia.

Reluctant to invest in post-Cold War military capabilities, many Western nations are struggling to afford land-based air defense systems such as the recently developed Patriot Raytheon or the German IRIS-T units.

The development came amid reports that Britain will also supply Ukraine with advanced air defense missiles capable of shooting down cruise projectiles, following Russia’s recent retaliatory strikes on Kiev and other Ukrainian cities after a car bombing attack on a key bridge linking Russia to Crimea.

UK’s Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced the new military aid for Kiev ahead of a two-day NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

The missile authorized for shipment to Ukraine is called the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).


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