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Defense Ministry begins exporting Israeli defense inventions to fight coronavirus

The Defense Ministry reports say sales were slightly down due to COVID-19 pandemic, but the country still remains one of the top 10 defense exporters in the world, with inventions meant to combat coronavirus

Drone defense system developed by the Israeli Rafael defense technology company (Photo Courtesy)

Drone defense system developed by the Israeli Rafael defense technology company (Photo Courtesy)

The Defense Ministry said IDF has started exporting Israeli inventions meant to combat coronavirus.

According to a report published today, Israel’s defense exports declined to $7.2 billion in 2019. This is slightly down from $7.5 billion the previous year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Revenue this year did not include any deals worth more than $1 billion.

However, the report stressed that Israel remains one of the top 10 defense exporters in the world, despite a slight drop in sales, and despite the country’s thinning defense budget in light of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Radar and electronic warfare systems comprised 17 percent of all sales, the report said, missiles, rockets, and air defense systems made 15% from all transactions, and unmanned avionics aircraft such as drones and UAVs made up 13 percent of all sales.

41 percent of the bulk of the sales went to countries in Asia and the Pacific, 26 percent to Europe, 25 percent to North America, and 4  percent to Africa and South America respectively.

Cyber, intelligence and telecommunications inventions sales nearly doubled in 2019, from 8 percent to 14 percent, with some of the buyers believed to be countries with no official diplomatic ties with Israel.

Head of the Defense Exports & Cooperation Division at the Defense Ministry, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas said “We are making sure, as a cornerstone of our activity, that Israel’s sensitive military capabilities will not leak overseas.”

The relationship with African countries sees no dramatic change in the volume of deals. It remained at 4 percent after Israel announced the renewal of relations with some countries four years ago. Previously, these relationships also included army training of local forces.

 In 2020, Israel has also begun to export security innovations aimed at combatting the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, such as military control and monitoring systems, which were converted for civilian use, disinfecting robots, and civilian monitoring capabilities.

“About 120 Israeli defense industries reported new contract signatures this year,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kules said in the statement.

“We were expecting to see a trend of growth in G2G (government-to-government) agreements throughout the year 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the global economy and the defense sector,” Kulas added.

Last year there was also an increase in the number of deals signed directly between Israel’s government and the government of the purchasing country. The profits from these deals reached $635 million in 2019 and expected to reach somewhere $700 million to $1 billion in 2020.

AFP and Ynet News

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