Sapir Predicts a $1.75 Billion Defense Budget for 1971

A $1.75 billion Israeli defense budget for next year was predicted here last night by Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir in an address to workers representatives. Mr. Sapir’s remarks coincided with the publication of an article in an aviation industry magazine which warned that Israel must spend hundreds of millions of dollars yearly for research to keep up with the modern, sophisticated weaponry which the Soviet Union was providing to the Arab states. The writer, Lt. Gen. Zvi Tzur, chief adviser to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said that Israel cannot afford to relax in face of the rapid strengthening of the Arab armies. Israel is contending with the highly advanced technology of the Soviet Union and therefore has to equip itself with the costliest means of warfare, he wrote, adding that “the scientific effort to be made is gigantic.”

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