The Israel Ministry of Defense on Monday said the country sold $7.2 billion worth of weapons last year, representing a downward trend.
The ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) said defense exports hit a report high of $9.2 billion in 2017 and then reduced to $7.5 billion in 2018. Mega sale in 2017 was due to India’s purchase of Barak air defense systems for $1.6 billion. The deal included provision of missiles, launchers, communications devices and command, control and radar systems.
“Despite the challengers and the fierce international competition, we succeeded in keeping Israel among the 10 leading defense exporters in the world,” Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Yair Kulas, the head of SIBAT, said in a statement.
The official described the scope of arms sales the past two years as the “continuation of a stable trend.”
The Asia-Pacific region remained the largest purchaser of Israeli defense goods, buying 41% of total exports, followed by Europe at 26% and North America at 25%. Africa and Latin America each accounted for 4% of weapons acquisition.
Radar and electronic warfare systems made up the largest chunk of exports at 17%, followed by rockets and air-defense systems at 15%. Exports of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones amounted to 8% of all exports, while cyber and intelligence systems were 7%.
Kulas confirmed Israel exported more cyber-intelligence systems in comparison to the year before, but did not specify which countries they were sold to. This technology was allegedly used by some countries to spy on political dissidents and journalists.
In addition, the country has faced accusations of selling weapons to regimes that are accused of committing crimes such as the Myanmar regime's persecution of Rohingya Muslims.