Israel Defense Exports Soar 40 Percent

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli defense industry has reported a boom in exports of over 40 percent in 2017.

Last year’s export figure was $9.2 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in 2016 and $5.7 billion the year before, according to the International Defense Cooperation Directorate at the Defense Ministry, known as SIBAT.

“This is an extraordinary achievement in every sense, which was reached thanks to the hard work of SIBAT and the defense industries and due to a number of agreements with foreign countries,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement.

At the top of the list of countries was India, where a deal was made by Israel Aerospace Industries worth $2.5 billion to supply Barak 8 missile defense systems.

The dramatic increase was also attributed to measures taken by the Defense Ministry over the past year to deregulate the arms industry and facilitate sales abroad.

SIBAT chief Michel Ben-Baruch told reporters he expects similar levels of defense exports in 2018.

Asia remained the biggest market for Israeli defense exports, accounting for 58 percent of arms sales in 2017. Europe and North America were Israel’s next largest customers. Africa, which saw a dramatic increase in arms sales in 2016, amounted to just five percent of exports in 2017.

Roughly 80 percent of the exports were missile systems. The remainder consisted of radars and electronic warfare systems, cyber warfare products and drones.