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Day after joining NATO, Finland says it will purchase Israeli David’s Sling anti-missile system

Russia's neighbor looks to boost its defense capabilities

Testing of David's Sling anti-missile system (Photo: Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office)

Finland announced on Wednesday – just one day after joining NATO – that it would buy the advanced Israeli David’s Sling anti-missile system to boost its overall defense capabilities against its large neighbor Russia.

Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, said it would initially invest 316 million euros ($344 million USD) in the David’s Sling system, an aerial defense system is designed to intercept medium and long-range rockets and missiles fired anywhere from 25 to 190 miles. 

“The David’s Sling system will extend the operational range of Finland’s ground-based air defense capabilities significantly,” according to the official Finnish statement. 

“This acquisition will create a new capability for the Finnish Defence Forces to intercept targets at high altitude," said Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen. "At the same time we are continuing the ambitious and long-term development of Finland’s defense capability in a new security environment.”

The sale of the David’s Sling missile defense system is subject to approval from the United States due to significant American investments in the Israeli system. However, given Washington’s support of Finland’s NATO membership and the country’s strategic location adjacent to Russia, it is unlikely the Biden administration would oppose the Finnish-Israeli military deal. 

In February 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Israel to supply Ukraine with David’s Sling in the ongoing war with Russia. Israel has so far been unwilling to supply advanced military equipment to Ukraine, concerned that it would undermine the complex and delicate Russian-Israeli relations. However, unlike Ukraine, Finland is not engaged in a conflict with Russia and recently became the latest addition to the Western defense alliance NATO with which Israel maintains close ties. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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