Quick access to top menu Direct access to main contents Quick access to page bottom
Subscribe and receive updates

From F-35s to Iron Dome: America’s Key Role in Israel’s Defense Arsenal

U.S. Assists in Israel’s Modern Military Construction
Israel, a Major Exporter and Importer of Powerful Weapons
No Discussions Yet with South Korea, Government Support Needed


The pressure on the Western world to halt arms sales to Israel, which is at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is intensifying.

Israel is one of the major arms exporting countries, but it heavily relies on imported fighter jets, guided bombs, and missiles to carry out air strike operations, which experts have recently described as the most concentrated and destructive in history.

Some civic groups and politicians in Israel’s Western allied countries argue that arms exports should be halted because Israel is currently unable to adequately protect civilian lives and ensure an environment where humanitarian aid can be fully and adequately supported.

On the 5th, the UN Human Rights Council announced a resolution urging Israel to halt the sale of various military weapons, including shells, with 28 countries in favor, 6 opposed, and 13 abstaining.

Both the U.S. and Germany, known to supply most of Israel’s imported weapons, cast opposing votes. Germany explained that it voted against the resolution because it did not include explicit criticism of Hamas.

Source: News1

The U.S., considered to have one of the most sophisticated military forces in the world, has assisted Israel in establishing modern military capabilities. The U.S. is also recognized as the largest supplier of weapons to Israel.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), from 2019 to 2023, over half, 69% of all weapons imported by Israel were found to be from the U.S.

Furthermore, the U.S. has signed a 10-year contract to ensure that Israel maintains a so-called qualitative, technological military superiority over neighboring countries and is providing military support worth $3.8 billion (approximately 5.11 trillion KRW) annually.

Israel is using this support to strengthen its military power, including purchasing the F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S., which are considered the most powerful in history. It has been revealed that Israel has ordered 75 of these jets so far and has already received over 30.

Israel is the first country outside the U.S. to introduce the F-35 into its military and the first to use it in actual combat.

An Israeli military expert explained that $500 million of the aid is used annually for the Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling missile defense systems, which the U.S. and Israel have jointly developed.

Israel relies on these defense systems to defend itself against various rocket, missile, and drone attacks from armed groups operating in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, as well as Yemen, supported by Iran and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

According to U.S. local media reports, the Biden administration has quietly confirmed over 100 military sales to Israel, most of which do not reach the amount that must be officially notified to Congress. It is known to include thousands of precision-guided bombs, small-caliber bombs, bunker busters (weapons that neutralize bunkers), and small arms.


No discussions have yet taken place regarding any exports between Israel, which receives full support from the U.S., and South Korea, which has recently gained attention with its K-defense.

Korea, having exported about 4 trillion KRW worth of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, Cheongung-II, to the United Arab Emirates for the first time last year (2023), is planning to enter Romania early next year. The size of this project boasts an enormous value of $4.2 billion (approximately 5.5 trillion KRW).

In addition, it is expected that Korean defense companies will continue to increase their export attempts for projects such as the submarine introduction project in Thailand and Canada, which is expected to be completed next year.

The actual defense export amount remained at $3 billion annually in the 2010s, but it soared to $7.25 billion in 2021 and further surged to $17.3 billion last year.

Especially after the outbreak of the Ukraine war in February 2022, the export amount surged as Poland, a neighboring country, imported a large amount of Korean-made weapons, such as K2 tanks and K9 self-propelled guns.

Experts predict that the trend of expanding defense exports will continue for a while, with the increase in defense spending among NATO member countries starting with the Israel-Hamas war.

Yu Hyung Geun, the Public Relations Officer of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, explained, “Security instability factors are growing all over the world,” and “The increase in market share in the defense market can be seen as a result of these global situations intertwining.”

However, experts argue that the government needs to intervene more actively in negotiations related to local production and technology transfer, which major importing countries demand, in order to gain an advantage in the increasingly fierce competition with foreign defense companies.

Some expect that if the government provides support, Korean defense companies will be able to enter Israel and other military powerhouse countries.

Source: VOA

Tal Inbar, a former director of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Israel and a missile expert, explained that South Korea urgently needs to deploy an anti-aircraft missile system like the Iron Dome to prepare for missile attacks from North Korea, taking the surprise attack by Hamas as a lesson.

He particularly mentioned the fact that Hamas launched thousands of rocket attacks without any ground invasion, saying that South Korea also needs to prepare for this entirely.

In a recent meeting with VOA at his home near Tel Aviv, Israel, former Director Inbar said, “I realized during my recent visit to Seoul that Seoul is very close to North Korea and the city is very densely populated,” and assessed it as an “imminent threat to South Korea.”

South Korea has not yet developed its own Iron Dome technology.

news international's Profile image




Share it on