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Pentagon Announces Support for Additional Iron Dome Funding for Israel

Israeli soldiers are seen near an Iron Dome battery near Jerusalem / AP
• July 23, 2014 3:42 pm

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The Pentagon announced to congressional leaders that it supports Israel's request for $225 million in additional funding for the Iron Dome missile defense program.

"The government of Israel has requested $225 million in additional U.S. funding for Iron Dome to accelerate production of Iron Dome components in Israel in order to maintain adequate stockpiles," wrote Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio). "The Department of Defense has reviewed and supports this urgent request."

Politico Pro reports:

The additional $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome, included in the Senate’s emergency supplemental funding bill, would bring the proposed total U.S. funding for the program this year to $576 million. Both the House and Senate Defense Appropriations bills would double the Pentagon’s $175 million 2015 budget request for the program, credited with stopping rockets fired from Gaza in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. […]

The additional funding for Iron Dome in this year’s congressional spending bills was tied to U.S. co-production of the missile defense system, but Hagel said the extra $225 million should be exempt from that requirement.

"Israel will continue to develop co-production of Iron Dome components in the United States," Hagel wrote. "However, Israel assesses that it will take another two to three years to reach full production capacity in the United States, which would not address Israel's current shortfall."