The Defense Exports & Cooperation Division of the Israel Ministry of Defense (SIBAT) has concluded the year 2017 in Israeli defense exports by signing new contracts on the scope of about $9.2 billion – an increase of about 40% compared to 2016. Over the last year, the Israeli defense industries, supported by SIBAT and other IMOD organs, succeeded in signing dozens of significant contracts, which enabled the continued consolidation of Israel's status in the global defense market.
Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman said, "Within two years we increased our defense exports by dozens of percent. This is an exceptional achievement by any standard, made possible by the hard work of SIBAT and the defense industries and owing to a series of agreements with various countries that trusted the capabilities and creativity of IMOD. This achievement will enable us to increase our research and development budgets, to provide new jobs and mainly to ensure the superiority of the IDF for years into the future."
The Head of SIBAT, Brig. Gen. (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch, said, "We are proud to conclude a very successful year for Israeli defense exports, which produced new contracts for the defense industries amounting to more than 9 billion dollars. The growth trend has continued with a very significant increase in the past year. The Israeli defense industries gain appreciation, prestige and trust worldwide, owing to cutting-edge, high quality technologies based on unique solutions proven operationally by the IDF."
In a briefing to reporters, Ben-Baruch said, referring to the increase in defense exports, "This has no equal; it has no precedent in the history of the defense exports of the State of Israel. Since the last year, 2016, we have, in fact, gone up 40% compared to the previous year. This was the outcome of the fact that we have been working for many years on projects signed in the past year. All in all, Israel, in the last few years, has been one of the top ten in defense exports worldwide. This is definitely a very impressive achievement made possible by the hard work of SIBAT along with the defense industries, which gain prestige, trust, and appreciation around the world, mainly with regard to the quality of the systems we export."
The most substantial tiers of the Israeli defense exports in 2017 were missile and air-defense systems (31%), Radar and EW systems (17%), system upgrades and avionics assemblies (14%), land systems, ammunition and weapon stations (9%), C3 systems (9%), surveillance and optronics (8%), intelligence, information and cyber systems (5%), services and miscellaneous (3%), UAS (2%), naval systems (1%) and satellite and space systems (1%).
As far as export markets are concerned, 58% of the exports were to Asia and the Pacific region, 21% to Europe, 14% to North America, 5% to Africa and 2% to Latin America.
Referring to the above statistics, Ben-Baruch said, "Over the last few years, the Asian continent has constituted a primary tier for our defense exports. Incidentally, Asia reflects a global trend. Quite naturally, we are facing competition with other countries, but owing to the quality and prestige of our systems, we succeed in dealing with the competitors in the markets of Asia and Europe."
In the photograph: Brig. Gen. (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch, Head of SIBAT. (Credit: Meir Azulay)