image Photos: Rafael, IAE

Israeli defense exports reach record high

2021 sales amounted to about 36 billion shekels ($11.3 billion or €10.4).

By Erin Viner

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) “has expanded its market by strengthening ties within the region as well as building new ties with countries around the world,” stated Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in words of congratulations and thanks to the nation’s defense industries, which he said “greatly contribute to Israel’s security, technological innovation, and economic growth.”

Security relations are an integral component of Israel’s political relations and our ability to cooperate with other countries, and we work to strengthen those ties and create new security partnerships. The peak in defense agreements in 2021 is first and foremost a means of strengthening the security of the State of Israel,” he emphasized.

All Israeli weapons sales are conducted in accordance with the Ministry of Defense’s Defense Export Controls Agency (DECA) regulations and the relevant international conventions, according to a statement TV7 obtained from the IMoD Spokesperson’s Office.

The significant tiers of defense exports in 2021 include: Missiles, rockets, and air defense systems (20%), training and training services (15%), UAV and drone systems (9%), radar and EW (9%), manned aircrafts and avionics (9%), observation and optronics (5%), weapon stations and launchers (7%), vehicles and APCs (7%), C4I and communication systems (6%), intelligence, information, and cyber systems (4%), ammunition and armament (4%), services and other (2%), said the IMoD.

By geographic distribution, 41% of the Israeli defense exports are headed to Europe, followed by 34% to Asia and the Pacific, 12% to North America, 7% to the nation’s “Abraham Accords” partners (the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan), 3% to the African continent and 3% to the country’s allies in Latin America.

The data reflects a sharp increase of export agreements between countries (GTG) signed by the IMoD for the second year in a row, including a more than 30% increase this past year of $3.365 billion (€3.11 billion) as compared with $911 billion (€841.3 million) in 2020.

When it comes to the actual agreements by financial scope, 38% included sales of over $100 million (€92.35 million), 18% ranged between $50-100 million (about €46.1-92.35), 22%were between $10-15 million (€9.23-13.85 million) and 22% were up to $10 million (€9.23).

“Today, the Ministry of Defense and the security industries mark a historic milestone” by “reaching double-digit figures for the first time” and reflecting “a 55% increase within two years,” said the head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the IMoD (SIBAT), Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas, adding that Israel’s success comes “despite fierce competition as well as concerns regarding the effects of COVID-19 on defense budgets around the world.”

Underscoring that that the rise in demand for Israeli defense products is “manifesting in the sharp increase in transactions” between GTG among other factors, Brig. Gen. Kulas said, “Looking ahead, shifting global priorities and partnerships such as the Abraham Accords create high demand for Israel’s cutting-edge technological systems.”