All Time High Israeli Defense Exports of $13B in 2023

Sales of Israeli air defense systems rose to 36% of exports, mainly due to the €4B Arrow 3 sale to Germany.
  • bureau
  • 10:30 AM, June 17, 2024
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All Time High Israeli Defense Exports of $13B in 2023
Israeli air defense systems intercepting Iranian missiles in April @X

Israel has set a new all-time record for defense exports for the third consecutive year, reaching an unprecedented $13.073 billion (approximately NIS 49 billion) in 2023, doubling its defense exports over the past five years.

The country’s Minister of Defense, Yoav Galant, said, "Even in a year when the State of Israel is fighting against seven different arenas, the defense exports of the State of Israel succeed in continuing to break records. This fact is a certificate of honor, first and foremost, for our defense industries and the creative and talented minds that work in them and drive them to the heights of breakthrough innovation."

Despite the outbreak of the "Iron Swords" war on October 7, which saw the Ministry of Defense and defense industries shift to emergency production for the IDF while continuing to fulfill foreign contracts, 2023 marked a year of significant export transactions, the ministry said.

The ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) reported that defense exports totaled $13 billion last year, up from $12.5 billion in 2022. Between 2018 and 2020, that number hovered between $7.5 billion and $8.5 billion.

Air defense systems made up 36% of exports, up from 19% in 2022, largely due to Israel’s €4 billion sale of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system to Germany. Radar and electronic warfare systems amounted to 11% of sales, and weapons launchers made up another 11%.

All Time High Israeli Defense Exports of $13B in 2023
Israeli arms exports over the years @Israel MoD

Cyber-intelligence systems only accounted for 4% of all sales in 2023, with no specified buyer countries. Israeli sales of such technologies face scrutiny for alleged use in spying on political dissidents and journalists. Unmanned aerial vehicles and drones, manned aircraft, avionics, observation systems, communication systems, vehicles, maritime systems, ammunition, and services accounted for much of the rest.

The Asia-Pacific region was the largest purchaser of Israeli defense goods at 48%, followed by Europe at 35%, North America at 9%, Latin America at 3%, and Africa at 1%. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, which normalized relations with Israel in 2020 under the Abraham Accords, accounted for 3% of arms purchases, down from 24% in 2022.

The Ministry of Defense said it will continue to invest heavily in domestic procurement, expanding production lines, and developing new capabilities to enhance production independence and reduce reliance on global supply chains.