Published On: Thu, Sep 18th, 2014

Israel Defense Ministry mulls assistance for UAV exporters

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MAFAT head Haim Cohen: We must protect the interests of defense industries and the IDF.

Israeli defense companies export hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of UAVs and peripheral systems, and the Ministry of Defense is currently considering implementing allowances that will make it possible to increase sales worldwide.

Yesterday, The Israeli Ministry of Defense Administration for R&D of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT) head Haim Cohen said that the Ministry is examining the possibility of granting allowances on the export of small UAVs to the civilian market, which will be used primarily for internal security applications, for securing essential services, such as oil and gas rigs, power stations, seaports, airports, and more.

Speaking at the “Israel Defense” magazine conference on trends in the UAV market, Cohen said, “The Israeli government is dealing with an ongoing growth in the number and variety of military threats, which makes it necessary that the unmanned vehicles that we support be versatile in their abilities so that we will be able to adapt them to the changing threats. MAFAT is working towards the future and its already planning what UAVs will look like in another ten and twenty years.”

Cohen went on to say that in situations of imbalanced warfare, which characterize the Israel Defense Forces’ recent operations, such as Operation Protective Edge, in Gaza, use of unmanned vehicles multiplied combat forces, through relying on technological innovation and updating operating strategies.

Regarding reduced budgets for military forces worldwide and growing competition from many companies to sell weapons systems, Cohen said, “We are aware of the competitions and are operating in a range of ways to ensure that Israel will continue to be a world leader in this field. Maintaining focuses of knowhow and qualitative advantage for the defense industries are in the interest of all of us. We will have to find the correct balance between giving assistance and allowances for Israeli companies to protect the defense and strategic interest of the IDF and State of Israel.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com

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