An IAF jet on display at the 2009 Paris Air Show.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli defense companies are ready to set up their booths at the Paris Air Show next week, where they are set to be a central attraction.
The event takes place against the background of decreases in defense spending in most regions of the world, which has also hurt Israeli exports.
The Paris Air Show scheduled for June 15-21, will see the Defense Ministry’s Defense Export and Cooperation agency, known by its Hebrew acronym, SIBAT, work with Israeli companies to exhibit advanced drones, air-to-air missiles, loitering munitions, radar and avionic systems, electronic warfare suites, and other systems.
A number of products will be unveiled for the first time, while others were used by the IDF during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip last year, as well as in special operations.
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Mishel Ben Baruch, head of SIBAT, said international defense industries are dealing with “a challenging reality, influenced by a decrease in defense budgets, alongside growing competition for each contract.”
SIBAT’s main mission, he added, is to “assist the industries in every way to expand defense exports. We will hold hundreds of meetings with international delegations during the exhibition, to expose Israeli technology that is considered ground breaking in the entire world, and the unique hi-tech solutions for the changing battlefield and war on terror.”
Rafael Advanced Systems, Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Aeronautics Defense Systems and UVision Air will all showcase a range of advanced products related to aerial combat.
Israel’s military exports in 2014 totaled some $5.6 billion, the Defense Ministry announced last month, down from $6.5b. in 2013.
Most of the sales involved enhancements to systems on planes and other aerial platforms, drones, command and control and communications systems, air defense systems, radars, electronic warfare suites, precision weapons, and advanced protection systems, according to SIBAT.
The Asia Pacific region bought the most Israeli products last year, followed by North America, Latin America, Europe and Africa.
The Israeli defense industry, ranked in the top 10 defense exporters in the world, continues to invest large sums in research and development.
This enables the companies to continue to turn out cutting- edge products for asymmetric warfare, including precision- guided weapons based on real-time intelligence, that minimize harm to noncombatants, the Defense Ministry said.