It was a big year for SIBAT, the export arm of the Defense Ministry, which announced an $800 million increase in 2016, for a total of $6.5 billion.
SIBAT director Brig.-Gen (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch attributed the majority of the new contracts to increased defense budgets in European and North American countries, in the wake of numerous terror attacks.
Export growth was also due to economic factors. “The increase in the volume of new contracts signed expresses a global trend of pulling out of the recession, especially in Europe and North America,” read a statement by SIBAT.
These dozens of significant contracts allowed “the continued trend of strengthening Israel’s place in the global defense market,” it continued.
In 2016, aircraft and aerial system improvements accounted for 20 percent of defense exports. Observation and optronics (18 percent) came next; and then aerial defense (15 percent); ammunition and weapons stations (13 percent); radars and electronic warfare (12 percent); information and intelligence (8 percent); unmanned aerial vehicles (7 percent); telecommunications (4 percent); maritime (1 percent); and other (2 percent).
The largest share of defense exports went to the Asia Pacific region, for a total of $2.6b., followed by Europe at $1.79b., North America with $1.265b., Latin America at $550m. and Africa with $275m.