Israel defence exports hit record $13.1 billion in 2023

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Gallant hold a joint press conference at Israel's Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli defence exports rose to a record $13.1 billion in 2023, a government report said on Monday, citing hundreds of contracts signed at various defence firms.

Some 36% of exports came from missile, rocket and air defence systems, followed by radar and electronic warfare, weapon stations and launchers at 11% each, with crewed aircraft and avionics at 9%, the Defence Ministry said.

Defence exports, which totalled $12.5 billion in 2022, have doubled over the past five years.

The ministry said defence exports had become a central priority as part of an effort to strengthen security-strategic relations worldwide, enter new markets, remove bureaucratic barriers and reduce regulation.

"While our industries are primarily focused on providing the defence establishment with the capabilities to support our troops and defend our citizens ... they are also continuing to pursue areas of cooperation and exports to international partners," said Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Kevin Liffey)