Israel’s increasing arms exports has made it one of the most important in the world, with a record $7.5 billion worth of arms exported in 2012, according to a Minister of Defense’s Export and Cooperation report on Tuesday.

The new record is even more impressive when taking into account budget cuts in Western countries.

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“The figure of $7.47 billion in defense exports at the end of last year surprised us,” said the export corporation’s director Shmaya Avieli. “Israel is one of the top ten defense exporters in the world, and one of the top five exporters according to some criteria. We are in the premier league in this area, and we aspire to more because defense exports contribute to Israel’s economy and security.”

Countries in Asia and in the Pacific region were the main markets, where sales totaled $4 billion last year.

The most popular export items were radar, missiles, defense systems that include anti-aircraft weapons, observation and communications systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Israel is the world’s largest exporter of UAVs after the United States.

 

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