Israel Becomes Top Global Exporter of Unmanned Aerial Systems

Israeli original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have aggressively marketed these platforms, helping them become the top exporter of UAS platforms, globally.

A recent market insight published by the global consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan (, on Israeli Unmanned Aerial Systems, finds that Israel's UAS export revenue totaled $4.62 billion from 2005 to 2012. The top purchaser of these exports spending-wise is the UK, although Israeli OEMs also have strong UAS trading relationships with India and Brazil markets.

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"Israeli defense firms rely on exports for the majority of their revenue," said Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Senior Industry Analyst Michael Blades. "UAS exports have accounted for nearly 10 percent of the country's total defense export industry, and this is expected to increase."

In the past, Israeli defense companies greatly depended on the U.S. Department of Defense for overall exports. In recent years, the U.S. has enforced stringent rules on the import and export of defense-related products into the U.S. through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

As worldwide demand for UASs increases, growth in Israeli UAS export and licensing agreement values are expected to grow since they are not subjected to the same "red tape" process that currently hinders the US State Department's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) processes.

"Total defense exports will likely increase steadily, as Israeli companies form strategic partnerships and continue aggressive marketing campaigns with countries in growing UAS markets, such as Africa, APAC, and South America," added Blades.

Eran Flumin, Frost & Sullivan Director of Israel Operations & Consulting, added that the success of the UAS Industry in Israel, like other defense industries, is driven by innovation, early adoption, and entrepreneurship that characterize the entire Israeli Industry.

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