Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense
Defense Ministry director general Eyal Zamir, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and SIBAT director Yair Kulas

Despite being at war, the State of Israel has set a new record in defense exports.

Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir, and Director of the IMOD International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas on Monday announced a record $13.073 billion in Israeli defense exports for 2023.

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The achievement marks an all-time high in defense exports and Israel’s third consecutive record-breaking year for defense agreements.

Throughout the year, Israel’s various defense industries signed hundreds of significant defense contracts worldwide with the help and support of the Israel Ministry of Defense, including mega-deals amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Israeli defense exports have doubled within five years, with more than a third (36 percent) of the agreements signed in 2023 for missile, rocket, and air defense systems.

“Israel continues succeeding in its international cooperation and industrial defense exports even during a year marked by war,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant noted.

“This is a reflection of the capabilities and creativity of our industries and our people. While our industries are primarily focused on providing the defense establishment with the capabilities to support our troops and defend our citizens, they are also continuing to pursue areas of cooperation and exports to international partners.”

The Defense Ministry in recent years has defined defense exports as a central priority. The ministry led a national effort to strengthen security-strategic relations worldwide, expand defense exports to new markets, remove bureaucratic barriers, and reduce regulation, following Defense Export Control Agency (DECA) regulations and international conventions.

This year concluded on a high note with record-breaking export deals, underscoring the steadfast commitment of the Israeli defense industry to international clients. In particular, the export of missile and rocket air defense systems reached a significant milestone, accounting for 36 percent of the total deal volume, up from 19 percenet in 2022.

Significant tiers of defense exports in 2023 included:
* missile, rocket, and air defense systems (36 percent),
* radar and EW (11 percent),
* weapon stations and launchers (11 percent),
* manned aircraft and avionics (9 percent),
* ammunition and armaments (8 percent),
* observation and optronics (5 percent),
* vehicles and APCs (5 percent),
* intelligence, information and cyber systems (4 percent),
* drones and UAVs (4 percent),
* C4I and communication systems (4 percent),
* satellites and space systems (2 percent), and
* maritime systems and platforms (1 percent).

Defense export data by geographic distribution was as follows:
Asia and the Pacific Region (48 percent),
Europe (35 percent),
North America (9 percent),
Latin America (4 percent),
Abraham Accords countries (3 percent), and
Africa (1 percent).

Forty percent of the agreements topped $100 million; 17 percent ranged between $50 to $100 million; 23 percent were up to $50 million, and 20 percent were up to $10 million.

“The remarkable achievements of the Israeli defense industries have doubled defense exports within five years. Nations worldwide are recognizing the success of Israeli defense systems, especially in air defense, appreciating their crucial role in safeguarding citizens,” said Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Zamir.

“Since the onset of the war, the Ministry of Defense has invested tens of billions of dollars in domestic procurement. This strategic approach is expected to further boost our global defense export.”

SIBAT Defense Export and Cooperation Director Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas added that Israel has significantly expanded its production lines to meet the rising global demand from defense ministries and military forces around the world.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.