Downturn For Israeli Defense Exports

Israel's weapons industry has been hit hard by a sharp drop in export sales. After a banner year in 2002 with a record $4 billion in sales abroad, the country's major defense contractors are expecting a 40% slump for 2003. The biggest export customer has traditionally been the U.S., but sales to the Pentagon for this year are expected to be less than $500 million. Israel's biggest recent arms deal was a $1 billion multi-year order from India for Phalcon reconnaissance planes. What's worse, the fiscally strapped government is also slashing defense orders.

Edited by Rose Brady

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