Israel Boosts Munitions Production with Elbit Systems

MOD signs $762M procurement deal to enhance IDF capabilities and ensure production independence.
  • bureau
  • 12:41 PM, May 21, 2024
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Israel Boosts Munitions Production with Elbit Systems
Tank ammunition @Elbit Systems

The Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Zamir, has signed extensive multi-year procurement orders with Elbit Systems worth approximately 2.8 billion shekels ($762 million).

These orders are for munitions for the Ground Forces. Following the outbreak of the war, Elbit Systems increased its production lines as per the Ministry of Defense's request to meet the established production targets. The ammunition will be produced at Elbit's factories across the country, employing thousands of workers who shifted to an intensified work mode since the beginning of the conflict.

Since the onset of the war, the Directorate of Defense Procurement (DOPP) has expanded its 'Blue and White' procurement operations to support the IDF’s force buildup and sustainment during ongoing combat, ensure independence in critical production areas, and strengthen the economy. The procurement volume by the Ministry of Defense since the war's outbreak is estimated at tens of billions of shekels, with more than half of the procurement sourced from Israeli suppliers.

In 2018, Elbit acquired the Israeli government-owned IMI, a major ammunition producer. Elbit manufactures ammunition for various platforms, including tanks, artillery, mortars, and smaller caliber rounds such as 5.56mm and 7.62mm.

This development comes nearly three weeks after the Biden administration halted a shipment of U.S.-made ammunition to Israel, marking the first such interruption since the Oct. 7 attack. Despite this, U.S. officials insist there has been no change in policy toward Israel. Last month, President Biden signed a foreign aid bill allocating $26 billion for the Israel-Hamas conflict, including $15 billion for Israeli military aid, $9 billion for humanitarian aid for Gaza, and $2.4 billion for regional U.S. military operations.

However, concerns remain among U.S. officials regarding a potential Israeli operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians are sheltering. The U.S. is actively involved in negotiations for a ceasefire and a hostage deal in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Concurrently, a Danish-flagged merchant vessel carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from India to Israel was denied port facilities in Spain. This unprecedented action was confirmed by Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno during a press briefing in Brussels, citing it as the first detected arms shipment to Israel attempting to dock at a Spanish port.

Recent reports highlight a significant increase in Israel's demand for ammunition amid the Israel-Gaza conflict, with India reportedly playing a crucial support role. Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd., a joint venture between Adani Defence and Aerospace and Israel's Elbit Systems, has been key in exporting munitions to Israel. These exports include aero-structures, subsystems, and over 20 Hermes 900 UAVs/drones. Additionally, Munitions India Ltd., a government-owned entity, exported ordnance to Israel as recently as January 2024.

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