U.S. Antimissile Aid to Israel Faces Budget Ax

The United States could eliminate all fiscal 2013 financial support for Israeli antimissile programs in response to major budget cuts set to take effect at the start of next month, the Israeli website Globes reported on Wednesday, citing informed backers of the government in Tel Aviv.

The move would end plans to provide $268 million in assistance for Israel's Arrow ballistic missile defense system and David's Sling technology for defeating midrange missiles. Washington could also cancel $211 million in aid for the nation's Iron Dome defenses against short-range rockets in response to the sequestration mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The potential reductions are among $729 million in possible cuts in U.S. armed forces assistance to Israel in the current budget year.

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday informed lawmakers it would drop plans to field seven ballistic missile defense warships in fiscal 2014 should the mandated spending curbs enter into force and if a short-term budget measure remains in place for the remainder of the current spending cycle through Sept. 30, Inside Defense reported.

The Navy said at the end of the next decade it could possess between 30 and 40 fewer vessels than it would have without the sequestration cuts.

February 21, 2013
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The United States could eliminate all fiscal 2013 financial support for Israeli antimissile programs in response to major budget cuts set to take effect at the start of next month, the Israeli website Globes reported on Wednesday, citing informed backers of the government in Tel Aviv.