Barak in Singapore to help Israeli defense firms

Defense minister attends annual air show; attempts to assist Israeli defense companies secure contracts.

Defense minister Ehud Barak pointing 311 (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense minister Ehud Barak pointing 311
(photo credit: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak was in Singapore on Monday to attend the annual air show and in a bid to help Israeli defense companies secure contracts.
Israel is competing for a number of tenders in Singapore including ones for anti-submarine warfare systems, aerial refueling tankers and fixed-wing aircraft, According to a report in Aviation Week.
In recent years, a number of reports on the ties between Israel and Singapore have emerged including the revelation that the IDF helped Singapore establish its military in the 1960s.
Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, insisted that the ties remain secret so as not to not provoke the country’s Muslim neighbors, according to media reports.
Singapore is reportedly one of Israel’s top customers and even helps fund various projects like the Iron Dome counter-rocket system that it has also already reportedly received.
Barak is joined in Singapore by Defense Ministry directorgeneral Udi Shani and Shmaya Avieli, director of the ministry’s Defense Export and Cooperation Agency known by its Hebrew acronym – SIBAT.
On past trips, Barak was accompanied to Singapore by his wife, Nili Priel. Barak arrived on Sunday but his presence there was kept under wraps until Monday due to security considerations.
Barak and Shani are expected to hold talks with South Korean and Italian officials on the sidelines of the air show ahead of the two men’s final decision on the Israel Air Force advanced combat trainer tender.
Korea has offered Korean Aerospace Industries’ T-50 Golden Eagle, which is competing against Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M- 346 Master. Korea’s proposal is believed to include more than $1.5 billion in industrial cooperation for Israeli defense contractors if its plane is selected. A number of leading Israeli defense firms will display their wares at the show including Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit Systems.