Foreign media reports Israel & Azerbaijan have long maintained defense & energy ties, and are currently negotiating several arms deals, including the Muslim state’s acquisition of several Iron Dome air defense systems.
By Shlomo Cesana
Azerbaijan is planning to acquire several Iron Dome air defense system batteries, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.
Iron Dome, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) to 70 kilometers (43 miles).
The impending acquisition was announced ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Azerbaijan, scheduled for December. The prime minister is also scheduled to visit Kazakhstan next month.
Located in the southern Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea to the east, Georgia and Russia to the north, Iran to the south, and Armenia to the west. Netanyahu’s visit seeks to explore ways to bolster ties with the Shiite Muslim nation.
In recent years, several top Israeli officials, including former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and current Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have visited Azerbaijan, which has expressed interest in Israel’s air defense systems.
Foreign media reports claim Israel and Azerbaijan already maintain defense and energy ties. Some reports claim several billion-dollar deals are already in the works in which Israel would supply Azerbaijan with coast guard ships, drones, anti-missile systems and other defense systems.
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to elaborate on the issue.
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