A $1.5 billion dollar procurement of self-propelled artillery for the IDF has been frozen pending an investigation into alleged favoritism in the awarding of the contract, Globes reported on Thursday.
Bidding for the contract, which was won by the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems, reportedly took place secretly, without any competitive process, thereby preventing other Israeli, German and South Korean companies from having a fair opportunity to make their offers.
Defense sources were described as “amazed” that German company KMW, considered a strong candidate to supply the weaponry, was kept out of the bidding.
The Ministry of Defense would not disclose details of the negotiations for the artillery.
“The entire process that led to the selection of Elbit Systems was accompanied by legal advice, and it cannot be said that this was a decision taken in secret,” a Ministry of Defense source said.
A special joint Ministry of Defense-IDF committee to be headed by Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Aviv Kochavi will review the bidding process. The deal with Elbit will be put on hold pending results of the probe, likely to take several months.