Report: Gulf States to Purchase Israel's Iron Dome System

Sky News reports Gulf Cooperation Council wants to protect itself from 'growing arsenal of Iranian missiles.'

AP

Several Gulf nations are currently in negotiations to purchase the Israeli-made Iron Dome missile defense system, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

The report said that member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council want to defend themselves against a growing "Iranian arsenal of missiles."

A senior Gulf government official was quoted as saying that "If Netanyahu were not making less of a mess of things and was more like [Egypt's] Anwar Sadat, then we would be happy to buy the missiles straight from Israel."

The official was apparently referring to is the Gulf states' intention to buy the systems through American contractors who co-developed them, rather than directly from Israel.

The report also quotes Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Khalifa, who said during a visit to London that "The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We'll have a much bigger one in the GCC."

The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

The Iron Dome was developed by the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and the first system became operational in March 2011. Other contractors involved in the project are Elta Systems – a subsidiary of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries – which makes the radar system; mPrest Systems, 50%-owned by Rafael and the developer of the command and control system; and Comtec Communications, which developed components for radio communications. For now, they only have one costumer: the Israel Defense Forces.