Roskam, Meng secure robust funding for U.S.-Israel Missile Defense, advocate for continued support in FY 2019
Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL), co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, secured $705.8 million for cooperative U.S.-Israel missile defense systems including Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow and Arrow 3 as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 omnibus funding bill. Last year, the lawmakers wrote to the House Appropriations Committee urging the inclusion of significant support for these important programs. Additionally, Rep. Roskam and Rep. Meng recently sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging it to continue support for these programs in Fiscal Year 2019.
Rep. Roskam released the following statement:
“U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation is a critical investment in the safety and security of Israel and stability in the Middle East. This cooperation improves Israel’s ability to defend its citizens and the U.S. Army’s recent tests of Iron Dome is a clear indication that our own forces can benefit from this battle-proven technology. I thank Congresswoman Meng on her consistent effort on this important issue and look forward to continue working with her to secure sustained support for these programs in FY 2019.”
Rep. Meng released the following statement:
“Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East, and ensuring its safety and security has been one of my top priorities since I came to Congress. I’m proud to have worked with my friend Rep. Roskam to secure robust funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation, which is a critical pillar to realizing a safe and secure Israel and am also grateful to Ranking Member Lowey for her support. I look forward to continued and strong funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in FY 2019.”
The omnibus bill includes $92 million for Iron Dome procurement (coproduction); $221.5 million for David’s Sling Weapon System procurement and R&D, $310 million for procurement, R&D, and testing of Arrow 3 Upper Tier missile system; and $82.3 million for Arrow System Improvement Program.
You can view the letter the pair sent to House Appropriators urging robust support for these programs in FY 2019 here or below.
Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky:
We greatly appreciate your efforts to advance U.S.-Israel defense cooperation—a critical investment that provides security and stability to the Middle East. Israel will require significant investment in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 to defend itself against aerial threats posed by a wide array of hostile adversaries. As you begin work on the FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, we respectfully request:
- $70 million for the continued co-production and procurement of Iron Dome system components
· $137 million to continue development of block upgrades for David’s Sling, which includes extending the system’s range, improving its seeker capabilities and addressing cruise missile threats.
· $50 million for the continued co-production and procurement of David’s Sling system components.
· $80 million for the continued co-production and procurement of Arrow-3 system components.
· $163 million for the Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP) to support completion of upgrades and related enhancements to ensure system survivability, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 launcher integration, and interoperability with U.S. systems.
In sum, we request at least $500 million, the amount requested in the President’s FY 2019 Missile Defense Administration budget, for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.
As you know, these programs are essential to the safety and security of Israel. Prioritizing and ensuring robust funding for these programs is necessary to address the evolving threats posed by Israeli adversaries, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran—all of which are developing more advanced, short, medium, and long-range rocket and missile capabilities. Iran’s recent drone incursion into Israeli sovereign territory reaffirms the need for these important defensive technologies. These programs also yield a tremendous return-on-investment for the United States in the form of economic, technological, and military benefits.
We also envision the possibility of utilizing U.S.-Israeli missile defense systems beyond the Middle East. Today, our forces face challenges from an emboldened, aggressive, and increasingly militarized Russia, North Korea, and other adversaries heightening our immediate need for advanced missile defense systems to protect our forward-based forces and key fixed installations. One option we believe the Subcommittee should carefully study would be supporting the U.S. Army’s immediate acquisition of the Iron Dome system. The Army has recently tested Iron Dome, for which the U.S. has full data rights and a coproduction agreement. Adoption by the Army of Iron Dome could provide an important near-term capability to U.S. forces as well as a surge production capacity if we or Israel required the system in a time of crisis.
In sum, as we see our enemies more emboldened and their capabilities growing, joint U.S.-Israel security cooperation is needed now more than ever. U.S-Israel cooperative missile defense programs are a win-win for the United States, as they save lives, prevent conflict escalation, and advance U.S. objectives by promoting regional stability and protecting a valuable ally.
During these challenging budgetary times we can and must prioritize federal funding for the programs where federal involvement can have the greatest impact on the safety and security of the American people, our troops, and our allies. These highly advanced missile defense systems have consistently been a key factor in Israel’s self-defense and further technological and operational advancements will be crucial moving forward. We want to thank the Committee for its past support and look forward to working with you to sustain and advance the critical partnership between the U.S. and Israel.
Very truly yours,