Ukraine war: Germans fantasize about anti-missile shield to protect themselves from Russia – zimo news


German Chancellor Olaf Schultz has confirmed that Berlin is considering buying one of its famous missile defense systems from Israel. This approach demonstrates how far the Ukrainian war has changed the security situation in Europe, but is also based on the illusion that there might be a “shield” that could completely protect a country like Germany from Russian missiles.

Anti-missile shield used to protect Germany from Russia’s belligerent desires. German Chancellor Olaf Schultz raised the possibility on Sunday, March 27, In an interview with ARD, the country’s leading TV channel.

Just two months ago, such a proposal would have seemed out of place in a country as proudly pacifist as Germany. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine changed that. “We must be ready to face the new realities of our neighbours [la Russie] who uses force to achieve their goals,” said the German head of government.

Arrow 3 instead of Israel’s Iron Dome

Olaf Scholz clarified that one of the main options on the table is to buy turnkey defense systems from Israel. A delegation of German MPs traveled to Tel Aviv on Sunday to learn more about Israel’s ability to intercept and destroy missiles threatening its territory, Confirmation of Bundestag Defence Committee Chair Marie-Agnes Strucker-Zimmermann.

Since the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, the German government has felt the pressure to strengthen its missile defenses.conservative elected officials Therefore, the CDU made a proposal in early March Germany bought to protect its capital Israel’s Iron Dome, the famous anti-missile shield that has proven effective against a rain of short-range missiles fired by Hamas from Gaza in May 2021.

>> Also read: Israel’s Iron Dome shelters Hamas and its allies’ rockets

A meaningless request. “Russia’s arsenal has nothing to do with the rockets Hamas uses at the border, and Iron Dome is responsible for interceptions. It’s like comparing the offensive capabilities of a team in the Champions League with the offensive capabilities of a team in a regional league same,” explains Oliver Thränert, an expert on missile defense at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Centre for Security Studies. Zurich (ETHZ), linked by France 24.

That’s why Olaf Schultz and the German government are more interested in the Arrow 3, Israel’s complement to the Iron Dome, specifically designed to intercept medium-range missiles. Rafael Loss, a German security expert, confirmed: “Theoretically, this defense system is used to defend against missiles such as the Iskanders, which Russia must use if it wants to strike Germany. “France contacted the International Relations Council on the 24th.

Faced with threats from the air, Germany and Europe helpless?

Most German defense experts welcome the debate on strengthening German missile defenses. Rafael Loss believes that “this kind of reflection has not happened for a long time”. After the end of the Cold War, the expert added, “it was the defense sector that suffered the most, because the Germans no longer believed that the air in Europe could pose a serious threat”.

For him, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 should have been an eye-opener for German politicians. But it was not until Moscow launched its invasion war in Ukraine that “the threat was made clearer and it was shown that Russia did not hesitate to use missiles”, points out Götz Neuneck, senior researcher at the Institute for Peace and Security (Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik, IFSH), led by France 24 Contact.

Germany is barely able to deal with this threat. It basically had an anti-drone system and some U.S. Patriot missiles, “an aging technology suitable for destroying short-range missiles,” recalls Ulrich Kuhn, director of the “Controlling Weapons Proliferation and New Technologies” research group. Dao” was contacted at IFSH, France on the 24th.

More generally, NATO’s defenses in Europe are doing a poor job of responding to a possible Russian strike. Anti-missile systems installed in Romania and Poland Ulrich Kühn explained: “The aim is to defend against more threats from the south, which means first and foremost that they have been configured to intercept possible Iranian missiles”.

hole in shield

But according to all the experts interviewed by France 24, if the intentions are good, the debate in Germany will be very bad. It is not conducive to reflection on this issue”, Ulrich Kühn believes.

The main question: “The idea that there might be a shield capable of protecting the whole of Germany from Russian missiles is not normal”, the expert from the Institute for Peace and Security decided.

First, because we don’t know the true capabilities of the Israeli Arrow 3 system. [en condition réelle de conflit] ” recalls Götz Neuneck.

Then, “the Russians clearly have a way to overwhelm a system like Arrow 3,” Rafael Loss assured. It would take hundreds or even thousands of anti-missile missiles fired simultaneously to effectively counter a massive Russian air attack. Especially since “Russian missiles have an integrated decoy system for some, which makes interception more difficult,” Ulrich Kuhn emphasized.

Such a device, even slightly effective, would be a real money pit. German media mentions a plan that “only” costs 2 billion euros… a figure that “seems very risky, since it would be necessary to cover a country the size of Germany”, Believe in Thomas Wigold, German weapons expert, on his blog. Currently, “if it is estimated that Russia has the potential to attack a NATO country with missiles, it is far more effective to build more bunkers than to invest in anti-missile defense systems,” Judge Gertz Nueneck said.

Then you also need “radars that can accurately detect approaching Russian missiles,” stresses Götz Neuneck. Additional costs are expected for a country that relies first on NATO radar capabilities to defend its airspace.

For Oliver Thränert, this is another weakness of the current debate in Germany: Olaf Scholz seems to suggest that Germany would buy such a system on its own. “I don’t see how anti-missile installations can be deployed on German soil without integrating them into the defenses built by NATO, of which Germany is a part,” the expert noted.

Finally, strengthening anti-missile defenses “also has political costs that we absolutely do not talk about at the moment,” Ulrich Kühn regrets. Rafael Lowes warned, in fact, that putting one foot in “a vicious circle that could lead to a new arms race”. Ulrich Kühn believes that if Germany or NATO strengthen its defenses in Europe, Russia “will want to invest in improving its offensive capabilities, etc.”​​.

In the context of the current war in the heart of Europe, the desire of the Germans to better defend against the Russian threat is understandable…but this involves the risk of opening the door to a more dangerous world outside. come up.

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