$7.5B in Military Exports for 2018, Ministry Says

Israel Air Force F-16I. (Ofer Zidon/Flash90)

Israel in 2018 exported $7.5 billion in military and defense products and services, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. That figure was $1.7 billion less than in 2017, but higher than the average for the past decade, the ministry said.

Most of the military exports consisted of offensive missiles systems and missile defense systems, with the two constituting 25% of exports. A total of 15% of the exports were for unmanned aerial vehicles, 14% for radar and electronic defense systems, 14% for maintenance and upgrades of equipment previously sold, and 12% for products surrounding guns.

Other products exported included night-vision goggles, satellite equipment, and cybersecurity-related products and services. A total of 46% of exports were to the Asia-Pacific region, with a quarter going to Europe, 20% to North America, 6% to Latin America, and 2% to Africa.

Exports in 2017 were $9.2 billion, the highest amount ever. One reason for the lower export amount in 2018 was the cancellation of a $500-million deal to sell upgraded F-16 planes to Croatia. The decades-old planes were given a from-the-ground-up overhaul by Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit, turning them into advanced fighter planes – but the deal was opposed by Washington, which pressured Israel to drop it. With that, the 2018 export level was the highest since 2012, the ministry said.