Israel Defense Exports Total $7.2 Bln in 2010
    2011-06-16 21:26:00     Xinhua       Web Editor: Jiang

Israeli arms exports totaled 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, a moderate increase from 6.9 billion dollars in 2009, the Defense Ministry announced in a press release.

An additional 2.4 billion U.S. dollars-worth of military hardware was sold to the Israel Defense Forces and local security establishment, the Defense Ministry said in a statement sent to Xinhua on Thursday.

The country's four largest defense manufacturers, namely the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries, RAFAEL Advanced Systems, Israel Military Industries and privately-owned Elbit, accounted for 84 percent of total sales (8.2 billion U.S. dollars).

The accumulative orders placed with the four had risen nine percent to a record 18.8 billion U.S. dollars in comparison to 17. 3 billion dollars in 2009.

According to additional figures released, the defense industries employed 43,000 people in 2010, with sales per worker averaging 223,000 U.S. dollars. Secondary services such as transportation, catering and logistics employed 100,000 people. The combined output totaled 25 billion U.S. dollars.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Udi Shani, director-general of the Defense Ministry, said the figures for 2010 were satisfactory when considering the ongoing global economic crisis.

"Despite the crisis, Israel's defense industries have shown stability, growth and an immense contribution to the national economy, all of which serve to prove that investment in defense also provides significant security to the economy," Shani said, according to the official statement.

The figures were released ahead of the Paris Air Show next week.

Fifteen Israeli companies will exhibit their latest weapons systems and gadgetry at the event, among them several small and medium-sized sub-contractors that will be in Paris for the first time in a bid to penetrate the international defense market.

Avi Hefetz, chief executive officer of the Israel Exports Institute, said that 1.7 million U.S. dollars were invested in the air show's Israeli pavilion. The Defense Ministry said the pavilion will highlight air defense systems, including a mobile version of the Iron Dome rocket interceptor, Magic Wand and the Arrow counter-ballistic missile defense system.

Iron Dome, produced by RAFAEL, shot down eight rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in April. The defense establishment hopes that in itself will lure foreign countries to place orders for the system in the coming years.

The Israeli pavilion will also exhibit the latest unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as electronic and electro-optic systems, avionics, precision ammunition and electronic warfare.

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