Israel to purchase over NIS 1b in ammunition for ground forces from Elbit

The contract comes after a public spat over the preparedness of IDF's Ground Forces.

An Israeli soldier checks his weapon on a field at Kissufim crossing (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
An Israeli soldier checks his weapon on a field at Kissufim crossing
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
The Defense Ministry will purchase NIS 1.25 billion worth of ammunition by 2030 from Elbit Systems for the IDF’s ground forces, the ministry announced in a statement on Sunday.
The five-year contract with Elbit, which is a continuation of a multi-year contract with the ministry, will begin in 2026.
Elbit Systems recently completed the acquisition of Israel Military Industries (IMI) from the state for NIS 1.8 billion, with an additional payment of NIS 100 million contingent upon IMI meeting agreed performance goals.
In January 2017, IMI signed a multi-year purchase agreement with the Defense Ministry for NIS 1.75 billion of ammunition systems by 2025.
According to the ministry the contract is part of the IMI privatization agreement, which is intended, among other things, to ensure the success of the national move to transfer the company’s plants from Ramat Hasharon to the Beqa Valley in the Negev.
The munitions that are the subject of the current order will be manufactured at the new plants in the Negev in the coming decade.
The order is intended to renew the stocks of various types of ammunition for the infantry units in the ground forces as part of its procurement program for the 10 years, culminating in 2030.
“This agreement is a win-win for the military and the state, as it ensures continuity of supply of munitions for all ground forces units, and it will support the nationally important process of moving IMI’s plants to the Negev,” Avi Dadon, head of the Directorate of Production and Procurement, said in the statement released by the Defense Ministry on Sunday.
The announcement of the contract comes during a public spat between the military and Defense Ministry Ombudsman Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick who has claimed that the IDF is not ready for war.
In his scathing June report to the Security Cabinet and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, he charged that the current situation in the IDF was “worse than it was at the time of the Yom Kippur War” in 1973. Brick’s critique was largely rejected by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who commented that the military is in a high state of preparedness for war.
Brick has also criticized the state of military vehicles and emergency storage units, which are crucial for supplying reserve troops during war.
In December, IDF Comptroller Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ilan Harari, who conducted a 45-day investigation into issues of IDF readiness raised in Brick’s report, rejected his claims.
According to Harari, there has been a significant improvement in the ground forces which are “unequivocally prepared for war.” However, he noted that there are gaps in the ground forces which have been neglected for years, including the maintenance of the IDF’s emergency warehouses and the quality of infrastructure and training, as well as ammunition.
Former head of the IDF’s Central Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrachi, who also served on the investigation committee with Harari, said that Israel has to add some NIS 2 billion to the ground forces in the IDF’s annual budget to narrow the existing gaps.