As per the study by a business consulting firm, Israel became the world’s largest exporter of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in terms of number of systems sold.
The Country has earned an enormous 4.6 billion dollars in sales during the last eight years, excluding a major deal with India for the upgrade of unmanned aircrafts, Frost & Sullivan.
It was noted that the sales of UAVs, or drones, constitute nearly 10 per cent of Israel’s total military exports. Unmanned equipment exports are a relatively volatile market.
Points to Remember
• Israel had 150 million dollars in UAV exports in 2008, which was increased significantly in 2009 to 650 million dollars.
• Exports of the small surveillance planes peaked in 2010, a record year for drone sales, to 979 million dollars.
• The sales since then have been dropped with UAV exports in 2011 slumping to 627 million dollars and in 2012 further to 260 million dollars.
• Israel’s average overall military exports over the past eight years have been about 6.1 billion dollars a year.
• The United States accounted for a mere 3.9 per cent of Israel’s UAV export sales from 2005 to 2012.
It is because of the Israel Air Forces’ impressive squadrons of UAVs that Israel is considered as a powerhouse in the field of unmanned aircraft. This fleet includes Eitan, which boasts a wingspan of up to 26 meters, and the Hermes 450, which as per the foreign reports can be armed to carry out targeted killings from the air.