Haaretz has recently reported that Israeli companies have sold Singapore missile defense shield technology, the ‘Iron Dome’. Haaretz reported that ‘Intelligence Online’ reported that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had received financing for development of the Iron Dome technology in return for receiving several Iron Dome systems to deploy in Singapore. It reportedly cost $250 million to develop.
Israel and Singapore have long standing military links after Singapore asked Israel for help in developing its army after the IDF model, which was done, in the 1960’s.
As a result, Singapore has made many purchases of military equipment and technology from Israeli companies, including Hermes 450 drones from Elbit Systems, Barak surface to air missiles from IAI, naval drones from Rafael, fighter jet upgrading by an unnamed company.
Haaretz announced in January, 2010, that Iron Dome had been successfully tested and that one system was deployed. The article speculated about when additional systems would be purchased and estimated that 20 systems would required at a cost of $50 million each, or $1 billion.
There was speculation however that the Iron Dome project was developed entirely for Singapore, rather than as an offshoot of an Israeli defense project. Apparently much cheaper missile defense technology is available from an American company, the Vulcan Phalanx/Centurion cannon system supplied by Raytheon.
Was this is an issue because Israeli government financial resources were used in the development of the product, which was ultimately unneeded by the IDF? Only one system has been purchased, and there is no budget for buying more.
Or it may just be an illustration of how the IDF, government, and the Israeli arms companies work together, often in secrecy, to maximise Israeli arms sales.