Israeli arms sales reach $ 11.3 billion in 2021 – 7% to Gulf

Annual sales of Israeli weapons reached a new record in 2021, according to Defense Ministry figures released on Tuesday, with officials pointing to a sharp increase in demand for Israeli-made weapons.

The ministry’s Directorate for International Security Cooperation, also known as SIBAT, said defense exports were $ 11.3 billion last year and $ 8.3 billion in 2020. Exports reached a record high of $ 9.2 billion in 2017 due to several major deals.

“Israel’s defense exports have reached double-digit numbers for the first time, reaching 55 percent in two years,” Brick said. SIBAT Chairman General (Res.) Yair Kulas told reporters on Monday.

“Demand for Israeli defense products has risen sharply over the past year, with a sharp increase in trade between the two countries,” Gulas added.

Europe is the largest buyer of Israeli defense products, accounting for 41% of total exports, followed by the Asia-Pacific region at 34% and North America at 12%.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recently normalized ties with Israel in agreements known as the Abraham Accords, which account for 7% of arms purchases. Finally, Africa and Latin America account for 3% each.

Defense Minister Penny Kants and SIBAT President Yair Kulas during a meeting on April 12, 2022. (Aerial Harmony / Ministry of Defense)

“Looking ahead, changing global priorities and alliances such as the Abraham Accords creates a greater need for Israel’s sophisticated technological systems,” Gulas said.

Missiles, rockets and air defense systems account for 20% of exports and training services 15%. Exports of unmanned aerial vehicles and drones accounted for 9% of all arms sales, as did radar and electronic warfare systems.

Although Israel is well known for its cyber-intelligence systems, they accounted for only 4% of last year’s sales. Officials did not specify to which countries they were sold. Israeli sales of such technology have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years due to allegations used by some countries to spy on political opponents and the media.

Avionics, electronic surveillance, weapons missiles, vehicles and ammunition make up the bulk of the rest.

Ministry officials say the total number of inter-government arms sales has more than tripled to $ 3.3 billion compared to the previous year.

People visit the Israeli stand at the Dubai Air Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on November 15, 2021. (AP Photo / John Campbell)

“Security relations are an integral part of Israel’s political relations and cooperation with other countries, and we work to strengthen those relations and build new security alliances,” said Defense Minister Benny Kantz.

“The culmination of the defense agreements in 2021 is a way to strengthen the security of the State of Israel,” he added.

Israel has been the 10th largest international arms exporter for the past five years, according to an independent global security think tank.

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