Soldiers stand next to an Iron Dome battery..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Defense Ministry’s Acquisitions and Production Administration announced a record year of purchases for the defense establishment in 2014, totaling NIS 14.1 billion.
This includes intensive weapons purchases made during last summer’s 50-day conflict with Hamas, and acquisitions that followed it.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shmuel Tzuker, head of the administration, unveiled the figures during a conference attended by hundreds of defense suppliers at the ministry in Tel Aviv.
Some $3.2b. of defense purchases were made from factories and companies situated in national priority zones in the North and South, Tzuker said.
The figures were heavily influenced by the immediate need to purchase defense products during the conflict last summer and deliver them straight to combat units. Operation Protective Edge resulted in some $8.6b. of defense costs – half of which returned to the Israeli market tied into the supply chain. Thousands of suppliers, particularly in the periphery, took part in the effort.
“The Defense Ministry is currently concluding one of the largest acquisition operations carried out for the IDF in recent years,” Tzuker said. “It began on the first day of Operation Protective Edge, and continued around the clock, until now, in order to meet all of the IDF’s needs. The entire time, we made sure that we kept a maximum number of acquisition deals within the State of Israel, to ensure that every shekel given to us for acquisitions is invested in Israeli industry, and not exported for foreign acquisitions.”