The Pentagon intends to return the two Iron Dome missile defense systems it had previously purchased from Israel to defend against terrorist missiles, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a US official and a congressional aide.
According to the report, the Defense Department told members of Congress in a briefing on Wednesday that it planned to lease the Iron Dome systems back to Israel. In this type of financial agreement, the property remains with the buyer.
The transfer back to Israel could occur within days, the congressional aide told Reuters. The Pentagon had been considering and testing the systems as a way to defend the territory of Guam from Chinese missiles. The Pentagon declined to comment.
Early Thursday, Israel’s Defense Ministry received a cargo plane from the United States carrying the initial shipment of armored vehicles destined for the Israel Defense Forces. The vehicles are transferred to the IDF to replace those damaged during the war.
This delivery is part of a large-scale acquisition operation led by the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the United States Procurement Mission, which aims to reinforce the IDF vehicle fleet to cope with a series of operational scenarios.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has already delivered hundreds of vehicles to the IDF, and several hundred more are currently en route to Israel.
During his visit to the country on Wednesday, US President Biden said the US would ensure Israel “has what it needs to defend itself.”