This year’s Latin American Aerospace and Defense Exhibition just ended and Israel’s defense industry walked away with numerous lucrative contracts all underlining their new focus in this region.
Elbit, one of Israel’s largest defense companies has landed a multitude of contracts from an $85 million contract with Brazil to upgrade some F-5 bombers to supplying the country with 450 surveillance drones.
Israel is coming to the realization as others have that Latin America is emerging as a major defense spender. The region increased it defense spending by 5.8 percent in 2010 while other regions spending was flat or decreased. At the same time Israel’s military exports are at an all time high of $7.3 billion.
Israel’s defense industry’s focus on Latin America is said to be compensating for the downturn in other exports and reduced military spending by the U.S.