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Israeli defense exports hit record $13b in 2023

2023 marked the third consecutive record-breaking year for defense exports, with air-defense systems accounting for 36% of the total deal volume.

An Arrow 3 interceptor being launched during a flight test in central Israel, Jan 18, 2022. Credit: Avichai Socher.
An Arrow 3 interceptor being launched during a flight test in central Israel, Jan 18, 2022. Credit: Avichai Socher.

Israeli defense exports reached a record $13.073 billion in 2023, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry. Defense exports have doubled over the last half decade, with over a third (36%) of the export agreements over that timeframe having been signed last year.

“Israel continues to succeed in its international cooperation and industrial defense exports even during a year marked by war,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday. “This is a reflection of the capabilities and creativity of our industries and our people,” he added.

While Israel’s military industries are primarily focused on providing the country’s defense establishment with the capabilities to support the Israel Defense Forces and protect citizens, “they are also continuing to pursue areas of cooperation and exports to international partners,” he said.

2023 was the third consecutive record-breaking year for defense exports, with Israel’s various defense industries signing hundreds of significant contracts worldwide. Notably, the export of air defense systems reached a significant milestone, accounting for 36% of the total deal volume, up from 19% in 2022.

Significant tiers of defense exports included: Missile, rocket and air defense systems (36%), radar and electronic warfare (11%), weapon stations and launchers (11%), manned aircraft and avionics (9%), ammunition and armaments (8%), observation and optronics (5%), vehicles and armored personnel carriers (5%), intelligence, information and cyber systems (4%), drones (4%), C4I and communication systems (4%), satellites and space systems (2%) and maritime systems and platforms (1%).

The exports went to Asia and the Pacific Region (48%), Europe (35%), North America (9%), Latin America (4%), Abraham Accords countries (3%) and Africa (1%).

Agreements over $100 million accounted for 40% of all deals, from $50-100 million 17%, up to $50 million 23% and agreements up to $10 million 20%.

The ministry said it has led a national effort to strengthen security-strategic relations worldwide, expand defense exports to new markets, remove bureaucratic barriers and reduce regulation.

“Nations worldwide are recognizing the success of Israeli defense systems, especially in air defense, appreciating their crucial role in safeguarding citizens,” said Defense Ministry Director-General 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,” he added.

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