International

Israel military exports surge to $6.5 bln

JERUSALEM: Israeli military exports surged last year to $6.5 billion, a rise of 14 percent buoyed by increased defence budgets, the government said Wednesday.

Total deals rose $800 million compared with 2015, making the second consecutive annual rise in Israel’s military exports.

“The Israeli defence industries have won great prestige around the world, thanks to advanced quality technology,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The ministry put the rise in exports partly down to “increased defence budgets in the face of growing security challenges”.

The majority ($2.6 billion) went to the Asia-Pacific region, with $1.7 billion and $1.2 billion worth of weapons, reconnaissance and telecoms systems to Europe and North America respectively.

It said that 20 percent of all defence exports came in the form of “aircraft and aerial system improvements, with 18 percent from “observation and optronics” and 15 percent on “aerial defence”.

A study released last month found that worldwide arms trade had risen to its highest level since the Cold War in the last five years.

Between 2012-2016, arms imports in terms of volume by countries in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 percent of global imports, a 7.7 percent rise compared to the previous 2007-2011 period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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