Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced $601 million in funding for Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 3, and Iron Dome research and development in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These programs would provide defense capabilities that protect Israel from rocket and missile threats from short-range distances as well as mid- and long-range distances. In addition to the extra defensive capabilities for Israel, this program also provides access to research and technology for the U.S. to utilize in its own national security programs. The funding passed the Senate as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and now heads to the President for signature.
“Israel should have all the resources necessary to protect its citizens from the range of threats it faces,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In supporting the defense of a critical ally through the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow programs, we advance our regional security objectives and also have access to critical research and development. Fully funding these programs not only benefits Israeli security but also U.S. national security.”
“At a time when growing missile and rocket threats from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas pose grave dangers to the Jewish state of Israel as well as American servicemen and servicewomen in the Middle East, I am glad Congress passed a 2017 national defense bill that authorizes full funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation,” Senator Kirk said. “It’s absolutely critical for President Obama to immediately sign this national defense bill into law, and for the incoming president and the next Congress also to quickly pass a defense spending bill that appropriates full funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs in 2017.”
Senator Gillibrand has led the support for U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs that advance U.S. national security interests by supporting Israel’s ability to defend itself against missile and rocket attacks while providing the United States with critical capabilities as well. In July, Gillibrand and Kirk along with 36 Senators in a bipartisan letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee urged for the full funding for the U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation programs amid growing missile and rocket threats to Israel from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Due to the continuing resolution, additional funding must be appropriated.