Young and Rounds seek $500 million to support US-Israel cooperative defense
To address the security needs of the United States and Israel, U.S. senses Todd Young (R-IN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) have joined a bipartisan contingent of 42 lawmakers calling for $500 million to be included in defense credits. bill for fiscal year 2023 to fully fund countries’ collaborative defense programs.
The US-Israeli partnership has helped build and maintain Israel’s multi-layered missile defense system consisting of four types of missiles, as well as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The system can, and has, countered numerous missile threats from state and non-state adversaries in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and elsewhere, according to a May 20 letter the 44 lawmakers sent to U.S. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman and senior member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
“Together, these programs confront the compelling challenges facing both Israel and the United States and represent the economic and security principles of our nations’ enduring friendship,” they wrote. “As you begin work on the fiscal year 2023 defense appropriations bill, we are writing to request $500 million for continued support of these programs.”
Specifically, the missile defense system provides Israel with the ability to protect lives at home and on the battlefield, keeping its citizens and soldiers out of harm’s way, the lawmakers wrote, noting that another area of Crucial importance for both countries is the field of UAS and counter-UAS.
“The increased use and sales of UAS by Iran and its proxies only heightens the importance of these systems,” Sens wrote. Young and Rounds and their colleagues. “The Collaborative Defense Program has created a significant flow of data to support US service members in theater, US missile defense technology, and our strategic ally, Israel.”
Additionally, these programs support vital parts of the industrial base and important jobs in the United States through co-development and co-production agreements, according to their letter, which states that the $500 million will “continue essential work on research, development and test activities to counter hostile unmanned aerial systems.