IsraelDefense has learned that IWI (Israel Weapon Industries) has won a tender from the Israeli police for the supply of "Arad" assault rifles to the police's counter terrorism unit (YAMAM). An official order for this supply is expected in the coming days and in the first batch is for only dozens of rifles
In the background of this IWI win stands the saga of the big rifle tender for all police units. For the past 6 years, the police have been trying to purchase new rifles, so far without success. In July 2019, IsraelDefense reported that the police had issued a new tender (after the previous one, a year earlier, had been canceled) for the purchase of 8,000 rifles.
"The tender indicates a preference for Israeli production as well as a reciprocal purchase obligation in a transaction of more than $5 million or a continuation of more than half a million dollars in which a foreign supplier or importer participates," we wrote in reference to that tender.
As mentioned, the 2019 tender came after an almost double tender (15,000 rifles) in 2018, which was also reported in IsraelDefense. The 2018 tender was conducted for about three years until its cancellation. That is, it started somewhere around 2015 - six years back. In that article, Israeli importers and manufacturers of weapons expressed their displeasure with the professional management of the tender by the police. According to information received by IsraelDefense, a professional source in the YAMAM, an expert in small arms, is the one who should make the choice for the entire police force.
Is the IWI win a sign of things to come regarding the winner of the big police tender? Time will tell.
In response to our inquiry, IWI said it is prohibited from addressing its activities and/or its clients.