Bush Budget Plan Provides Funding For U.S.-Israeli Missile Defense Programs
Budget Would Provide $66.3 Million For Arrow, $44.9 Million For David’s Sling
President Bush would provide capabilities development funding to further U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2009.
U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) funding for the Arrow program would drop from $108.9 million in the current fiscal 2008 to $66.3 million in fiscal 2009, then trend back upward to $77.6 million in fiscal 2010, $78.9 million in fiscal 2011, $81.3 million in fiscal 2012, and $82.6 million in fiscal 2013, for a total of $495.7 million in fiscal 2008 through 2013.
There also would be an additional $9 million for element targets for the Arrow program in the current year, and $8 million for them in fiscal 2009.
The Arrow is a key Israeli program (Israel Aircraft Industries), because the Middle Eastern nation is under constant threat of ballistic missile attack by hostile Arab states.
Another Israeli missile defense program is David’s Sling, which aims to take down short-range enemy missiles.
The Bush budget provides $36.5 million for David’s Sling in the current fiscal 2008, rising sharply to $44.9 million in fiscal 2009.
Actually, the David’s Sling program is doing even better than those numbers suggest.
For fiscal 2008, Bush had requested just $7 million for the program, but Congress raised that to $36.5 million, a roughly five-fold increase, according to David Altwegg, deputy for operations, who briefed journalists on the MDA budget request today.
If Bush’s budget proposal is adopted, funding for David’s sling would rise another 23 percent in fiscal 2009.
David’s Sling involves a missile defense system with a dual mode radar and electro-optical systems, being developed by Rafael in Israel and Raytheon Co. [RTN]-Tucson in the United States, Altwegg noted, praising Israel.
"They are a treasured ally of ours," Altwegg said, "important to the United States."