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Israel says defense exports were worth $7.2B last year

June 22, 2020 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense exports reached $7.2 billion last year, the Defense Ministry said Monday, a 5% drop from 2018, with most sales for missiles, rockets and air defense systems.

The figure represented an 23% decline from 2017. But it was in line with a general trend of growth over the past decade for Israel’s defense exports.

The ministry said most sales were for missiles, rockets and air defense systems. Manned aircraft and weapons launchers were also in demand.

The main destinations for the country’s exports were the Asia Pacific region, Europe and North America.

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The Defense Ministry said that while it was expecting further growth in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to upend those plans. Still, the ministry said it hopes to turn the crisis into an opportunity for the Israeli defense industry, without elaborating.

Israel is among the world’s top arms exporters.