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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Israeli firms profit as Europe boosts defence spending

Man looks through infrared scope on a weapon during a preview presentation at Elbit Systems demo
Reuters
(AFP) As European defense budgets rise in the wake of increased threats, Israeli companies are seeing a boost in sales, further solidifying the country's image as an arms industry leader.

The increases have come despite, and perhaps partly aided by, Israel's continued conflict with the Palestinians - with Israeli firms themselves highlighting that their products have been tested in conflict.

European spending on defense and security had remained roughly static in the past decade, but Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Islamist attacks in France and Belgium, and a wave of refugees from the Middle East have encouraged a spike.

Across the continent, defense budgets are expected to increase by 8.3 percent this year, according to a recent report by a group of think tanks including the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.

Israeli companies, many of which have strong backing from the state, are capitalizing by pushing new products.

Twenty-nine of them displayed technologies this week at the Eurosatory conference in Paris, one of the world's largest land defense exhibitions. READ MORE