TEL AVIV (Nov. 13)
Deputy Defense Minister Mordechai Zipori disclosed yesterday that Israel’s military industries and ancillary plants have grown tremendously in the past three years and expect to export over $1 billion of Israel-made military equipment this year.
Zipori noted that in 1977, military exports amounted to $250 million and in 1979 $750 million. “We may well pass the $1 billion during the current year,” he said,. He said that agreements have been signed with several countries, some of which have never purchased military equipment from Israel. The new markets are for sophisticated electronic weapons control systems and for general military hardware specially designed and developed in Israel for export. These include the new Merkava tank.
The growth of the military industries is indicated by the number of workers employed by them. Zipori disclosed that Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has 21,000 workers today compared to 18,000 three years ago. The military industry employed 8000 in 1977 and employs 14,000 today. The Beth Shemesh Engine Works which had 750 employes in 1977 now has 1500.