Annual arms sales from Israel set a new milestone in 2022, doubling its export figures from a decade ago, the Defense Ministry reported.
Rise of the Israeli arms industry
Defense exports amounted to $12.5 billion in 2022, surpassing the previous record of $11.4 billion in 2021. During the period from 2011 to 2016, these figures varied between $5.6 billion and $7.5 billion.
The Ministry of Defense pointed to geostrategic changes in Europe as reasons for the increase in the demand for Israeli weapons. Reference was also made to an increase in demand from Arab countries that have recently normalized their relations with Israel.
Brigadier General (res.) As head of SIBAT, Yair Kulas stressed that “Israel’s defense exports have reached a new high, for the second time in a row, a remarkable 65% increase in five years.”
Main buyers and future scenarios
The Asia-Pacific region led purchases of Israeli defense products with 30% of total exports, followed by Europe with 29%. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, which normalized their relations with Israel through the Abraham Accords in 2020, accounted for 24% of arms purchases.
For their part, North America, Africa and Latin America occupied less predominant positions, with 11% and 3%, respectively. Kulas indicated, “Geostrategic changes in Europe and Asia, in addition to the Abraham Accords, create a great demand for Israel’s cutting-edge systems.”
Typology of arms exports
Unmanned aerial vehicles ( UAVs ) and drones were the most exported products, with 25%, followed by missiles, rockets and air defense systems with 19%. Exports of radars and electronic warfare systems accounted for 13% of sales.
On the other hand, sales of cyber intelligence systems accounted for only 6% of total sales in 2022. Manned aircraft, avionics, observation systems, weapons launchers, communication systems, vehicles, maritime systems, munitions and services made up the most other exports.
Future Prospects for the Israeli arms industry
Government-to-government arms sales have increased tenfold in the past five years, reaching more than $4 billion compared to $412 million in 2018. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stressed that these data, which reflect a new milestone in defense exports, demonstrate Israel’s strength and excellent technological capabilities.
Israel is currently in negotiations for a possible sale of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system to Germany in a deal that could fetch as much as $4.3 billion.