Israeli arms exports are breaking records and officials are concerned that it may irk the United States as the industry braces for a possible repeat of previous US attempts to limit the sale of weapons to certain countries, namely China.
In 2006 the Israeli Military Industries ended the year with an all time record sum total of USD 4.2 billion in exports, not counting the several multi-million dollar deals which are already in their final stages.
Israel exports virtually everything, from Tavor assault rifles to artillery shells to fortification systems, intelligence solutions, missiles, drones and space equipment.
"The ability of the Israeli Military Industry annoys certain US administration officials," said a source from within the security industry on Saturday. He claims that these officials are making allegations that Israel has sold technological information to 'problematic' countries like China.
The most noticeable growth in security exports was recorded in Israel Aerospace Industries sales. In the first nine months of 2006 IAI sales stood at USD 2 billion compared to USD 1.75 billion for the same period the year before – a 14 percent increase.
Orders from the IAI reached USD 6.9 billion in late September compared to USD 5.8 billion in 2005 – a 19 percent increase.
To compare, Russia's 2005 arms sales totaled at USD 7 billion (a 22 percent increase from 2004's USD 5.4 billion) but, as recently revealed by President Vladimir Putin, will drop to USD 6 billion in 2006.