Israel's defense exports totaled $7.5 billion in 2018, $1.7 billion less than the $9.2 billion in defense exports in 2017, according to figures published today by the Ministry of Defense.
According to figures from the Ministry of Defense International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), one quarter of the defense products exported last year were missile systems and defense systems against missiles. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) accounted for 15% of defense exports, radar and electronic warfare systems 14%, upgrades and avionics 14%, and weapons stations 12%. Other exports were in optronic systems, satellite and space systems, and cyber products.
46% of Israeli defense exports were to the Asian Pacific region, 26% to Europe, 20% to North America, 6% to Latin America, and 2% to Africa. SIBAT director Brig. Gen. (res.) Mishel Ben Baruch said that the sales volume of Israeli defense companies reflected dozens of deals around the world.
Commenting on the decline in defense exports in 2018, compared with the all-time record set in 2017, defense sources said that the $2.5 billion sale of Barak 8 defense missiles to India led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in 2017 had pushed up the export figures for that year.
The export figures for 2018 were affected by cancelation of a $500 million deal for the sale of 12 F-16s to Croatia. The F-16s in the deal were out-of-date models that the Israeli air force has been removing from service in recent years. Israel planned to have them upgraded by IAI and Elbit Systems before selling them to Croatia. The US opposed the deal, because the planes were manufactured in the US, and Israel did not request permission to sell them to Croatia.
The 2018 defense export figures were still very high in comparison with the years before 2017, and were slightly higher than the $7.5 billion defense exports in 2012, a peak year.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 17, 2019
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