Israeli officials are concerned its financial difficulties may make it impossible to repeat the stellar performance turned in last year by defense industries who broke all records for sales exports in 2012.
According to figures released Tuesday by the Defense Ministry, Israel sold $7.473 billion in defense products last year. Brig.-Gen. (res) Shmaya Avieli, who heads the Defense Exports Directorate (SIBAT) warned at a news briefing that the country’s fiscal slump may also affect military sales.
Another reason for reduced sales, he said, is the issue of Europe’s stated preference for buying from its own suppliers.
Of Israel’s total industrial exports, the defense industry accounts for some 10 percent – not including the world of diamond gemstones.
Despite the anticipated slump in exports, Avieli said he did not expect military product export sales to drop beyond the 2011 level, which was much lower, at $5.823 billion, Defense Update reported.
The spike in growth last year was attributed to the export of missile systems at a gross value of more than $1.6 billion, the largest segment in the export package.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems sold the Spyder air defense (radar) system, Spike multi-purpose guided missiles, Barak 8 (radar) and SPICE air/ground guided weapons.
Israel Aerospace Industries’ Harop division, and Elta Systems, also proved lucrative, selling more than a billion dollars’ worth of radar systems. Among them were two Conformal Early Warning Radar (CAEW) systems, sold to Italy, and several Multi-Mission Radar derivatives sold to others.