Mini-Harpy kamikaze drone (Israel Aerospace Industries) (Israel Aerospace Industries)
Israeli UAV

World interest in Israeli military tech is expected to continue surging in 2022.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Israeli arms exports reached $11.3 billion in 2021, an all-time high, according to figures released by the Defense Ministry on Monday.

Officials in the ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) attributed the banner year to increased interest in Israeli military technology, and larger orders.

“Today, the Defense Ministry and the security industries mark a historic milestone,” said Brig.-Gen. (res) Yair Kulas, head of SIBAT. “Israel’s defense exports have reached double-digit figures for the first time, reaching a 55% increase within two years.”

Europe accounted for 41 percent of the sales, making it Israel’s largest purchaser overall. Sales to the Asia-Pacific region made up 34% of the sales. Another 12% went to North America while Israel’s Abraham accords partners made up 7%. The remaining exports went to Africa and Latin America.

The most widely sold items were missiles, rockets, and air-defense systems, which accounted for 20% of the exports while training services made up another 15%.

Aerial drones made up another nine percent, as did radar and electronic systems. Weapons stations and launchers accounted for seven percent of the exports.

The rest was divided among armaments, cyberwarfare systems, vehicles, and systems for intelligence, information and communication.

The 2021 exports smashed the 2018 record of $9.2 billion.

“During the year, about 120 defense industries, with the help and support of SIBAT and the Defense Ministry, managed to sign hundreds of significant contracts around the world, including megadeals worth $1b. and more,” a Defense Ministry statement said.

Kulas added that 2022 should also be a successful year, with many European countries boosting their defense spending in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Looking ahead, the war in Ukraine, alongside the Abraham Accords, create high demand for Israeli systems on the leading edge of technology,” he said. “The Defense Ministry is working together with the industries to continue this trend of export growth and even intensify it.”

Germany has already received approval from the US and Israel to purchase an Arrow-3 missile defense system. The authorization means Israel’s most advanced defense system may be sold to another country for the first time. The reported $2.18 billion sale, if completed, would be operational in 2025, according to German reports.

In November, Israel signed a defense agreement with Morocco, its first with an Arab country. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for arms sales, along with cooperation in training, intelligence sharing and other areas of collaboration.

Moroccan military leaders are said to be especially interested in Israeli aerial drones.

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