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Israel Arms Export Hits Historic High

April 13, 2022

by: Kate Norman

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SPYDER air defense missile system

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | Israel broke its sales record for arms exports in 2021, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced this week when it released its sales figures. In fact, the Jewish state was ranked the 10th biggest arms exporter in the world earlier this month.

Arms exports reached an all-time high last year with US $11.3 billion in sales, compared to US $8.3 billion in 2020, according to the defense ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT). The previous record was US $9.2 billion in 2017.

It was the first time Israel’s defense exports have reached the double-digit figures—a 55% increase within two years, SIBAT head Brig.–Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas pointed out.

“Demand for Israeli defense products has risen in the past year, manifesting in the sharp increase in transactions between countries, among other things,” he told reporters on Monday, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

The Jewish state’s best customer was Europe, which purchased 41% of Israel’s arms exports, the Times of Israel reported. The Asia–Pacific region followed at 34%, trailed by North America at 12% and Latin America and Africa both at 3%.

In a sign of shifting alliances and partnerships, Israel’s newest buyers included the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who comprised a combined 7% of last year’s sales. The two Arab Gulf states only normalized relations with the Jewish state under the Abraham Accords in 2020, but cooperation and relations have been warm since the documents were signed on the White House lawn.

Kulas said the new partnerships “create high demand for Israel’s cutting-edge technological systems.”

The exports mainly consisted of missiles, air defense systems and rockets (20%) as well as training services (15%), the Times of Israel reported. Also 9% of the exports were drones, unmanned aerial vehicles as well as radar and electronic warfare systems.

The export data was released just over a week after Israel was ranked the world’s 10th biggest exporter of arms over the past five years.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released a report assessing global weapons trade between 2017 and 2021 and ranked Israel in 10th place, at 2.4% of global exports for the given period.

The Jewish state trailed the United States (39% of global arms exports), Russia (19%), France, China, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Spain in the rankings.

According to the think tank’s report, Israel’s biggest weapons importers from 2017–2021 were India, Azerbaijan and Vietnam.

Posted on April 13, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 13, 2022)

Photo Credit: Ereshkigal1/

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