JERUSALEM, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli defense exports reached a record high of 9.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, following a dramatic 40 percent rise from a year ago, a report finds Wednesday.
The dramatic rise was due to a series of huge deals signed in 2017 by Israel Aerospace Industries with India, headed by the 2.5-billion-dollar deal to supply Barak 8 missile defense systems, according to figures released by SIBAT, the Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization in the Ministry of Defense.
The increase is also credited to the efforts made by the Israeli Defense Ministry over the past year to deregulate the arms industry and make it easier for Israeli firms to export their wares, Israeli media reported.
Asia and the Pacific remained the biggest market for Israeli defense exports, accounting for 58 percent of the total in 2017. It was followed by Europe, 21 percent, North America, 14 percent, and Africa, 5 percent.
By breakdown, Israel significantly increased its exports of missiles and air defense systems, which accounted for 31 percent of total defense exports in 2017.
Exports of radars and electronic warfare systems accounted for 17 percent of the total, while cyber warfare products and drones amounted to 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
"This achievement will enable us to increase the research and development budget, create new jobs, and especially to ensure the IDF's supremacy in the coming years," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement on Wednesday.