Israel’s arms sales to Africa more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, continuing a multi-year upward trend, an Israeli daily reported Wednesday.
The country’s total military exports were down in 2013, but the trend over the past decade continues to be positive, according to a Haaretz report.
Israel sold $223 million worth of arms to African countries in 2013, compared to $107 million in 2012 and $127 million in 2011. In 2009, by contrast, sales stood at only $71 million.
Overall arms sales stood at $6.5 billion in 2013, a billion dollar drop from the year before. But the figure still represents a significant rise from the $3.5 billion in sales in 2005.
The decline over the past year is mostly due to arms sales dropping across the world as nations cut defense budgets as part of austerity measures.
In addition, the US drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan reduced the American need for defensive technologies, of which Israel is a major supplier.
Asian countries continued to be Israel’s top arms customers, buying $3.9 billion worth in 2013, according to Haaretz.
In addition, the US and Canada purchased $1 billion worth of arms in 2013, while Latin American countries bought $645 million worth. Europe spent $705 million, down from $1.6 billion the year before.
The transactions were mostly for upgrading airplanes, computer systems for air forces, ammunition, drones, and radar, the Defense Ministry told Haaretz.