In 2021, Israel set a new record high for the value of total exports of defense technologies and products for a single year hitting a total of $11.3 billion in sales. The number of new agreements signed by Israeli for defense deals increased by more than 30% compared to 2020.
And the rate of export agreements between countries signed by the Ministry of Defense more than tripled to $3.365 billion in 2021 compared to just $911 million in 2020.
Israel is known as Startup Nation, but before that, it was known as one of the world’s leading developers and producers of cutting edge defense technologies. It had to be, considering that the tiny nation was under constant threat of attack from all of its neighbors and the entire Arab world. This led to the country establishing a world leading defense industry that continues to set standards for new technologies.
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From Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, from the Iron Dome missile defense system to the latest in night vision and video security tech, Israel continues to lead the world in the defense industry.
Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz explained that his ministry plays an important role in negotiating these deals. “The Ministry of Defense cooperates with partners around the world and has expanded its market by strengthening ties within the region as well as building new ties with countries around the world,” he said. “Security relations are an integral component of Israel’s political relations and our ability to cooperate with other countries, and we work to strengthen those ties and create new security partnerships. The peak in defense agreements in 2021 is first and foremost a means of strengthening the security of the State of Israel.”
Gantz further stated that under his directive the Israel Ministry of Defense defined security exports as one of its central focuses. The cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and the defense industries, explained his ministry, is reflected in the sharp increase of new agreements signed for the second year in a row. All cooperation is conducted in accordance with the Ministry of Defense’s Defense Export Controls Agency (DECA) regulations and the relevant international conventions, it stated.
Significant tiers of defense exports in 2021:
Missiles, rockets, and air defense systems (20%), training and training services (15%), UAV and drone systems (9%), radar and EW (9%), manned aircrafts and avionics (9%), observation and optronics (5%), weapon stations and launchers (7%), vehicles and APCs (7%), C4I and communication systems (6%), intelligence, information, and cyber systems (4%), ammunition and armament (4%), services and other (2%).
Defense export data by geographic distribution:
Asia and the Pacific – 34%, Europe – 41%, North America – 12%, “Abraham Accords” countries – 7%, Africa – 3%, Latin America – 3%.
Distribution of agreements by financial scope:
Over $100 million (38%), between $50-100 million (18%), between $10-15 million (22%), up to $10 million (22%).