In wake of Ukraine invasion, Israel anticipates uptick in arms sales to Eastern Europe

Since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, industry reports increase in radar systems and missile sales, but says future deals may be stopped by Defense Ministry over potential conflict of interests with Russia

Udi Etzion|
Israeli weapons manufactures may seen an increase in sales to Eastern Europe in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, industry sources said on Sunday.
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  • The sources said they are hoping the Defense Ministry would not block such sales, fearing Russian anger that could translate to restrictive measures on Israel's operations in Syria and on the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
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    Israeli made Spike missile system
    Israeli made Spike missile system
    Israeli-made anti-tank Spike missile
    (Photo: Rafael Industries)
    According to the sources, after the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, Israel's defense industry clinched deals which were worth billions of dollars, and were more extensive than the ones that had been signed in previous years.
    However, fearing the Russian response and the possible loss of advanced weapon systems to Russian hands, the Defense Ministry blocked arms sales to Ukraine.
    Israel also requested that the United States refrain from positioning the Iron Dome missile defense system in Ukraine.
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    ניסוי ירי ראשון בסוללת 'כיפת ברזל' בארה"ב, המופעלת על-ידי חיילים מצבא ארה"ב
    ניסוי ירי ראשון בסוללת 'כיפת ברזל' בארה"ב, המופעלת על-ידי חיילים מצבא ארה"ב
    The Iron Dome missile defense system in tests by the U.S. military
    (Photo: The Defense Ministry)
    The Czech Republic purchased an Israeli air defense system for $630 million last year and in 2019 the Czechs bought a radar system for $125 million.
    Hungary also bought the same radar in a deal estimated, but not confirmed, to be around $200 million.
    Poland purchased Israeli-made missiles in a $150 million deal as part of its efforts to bolster its military, which included the purchase of U.S.-made patriot missiles.
    The Polish military was also working to increase its intelligence gathering capabilities and Israeli defense industries are among those competing with international firms for the sale of UAVs.
    3 View gallery
    פיתוחים חדשים במלטי''ם
    פיתוחים חדשים במלטי''ם
    A UAV made by Israeli Elbit company
    Germany had also signed deals to purchase Israeli-made radar systems for more than half a billion dollars to provide defense for their Navy and ground forces, as part of their strategy to defend against any threat from Russia.
    The European interest in Israeli weapons system sales stems from the continent's pull back from the United States under former President Donald Trump.
    The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is attempting to renew close ties with European allies and has already increased its deployment of troops in Europe.
    It may in future push for European's favoring the American weapons industries as well.

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