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U.S. blocks major Israeli drone export deals

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TEL AVIV — Israel has blocked exports of unmanned aerial vehicles
for foreign militaries.

Industry sources said the Israeli Defense Ministry vetoed requests by
major companies for UAV exports. They said the proposed exports stemmed from
political pressure by the United States.

Israel Aerospace Industries Heron (Machatz-1) UAV.  /Reuters

Israel Aerospace Industries Heron (Machatz-1) UAV. /Reuters

Israel’s business daily Globes said the UAV deals affected such producers as the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems and
Aeronautics Defense. Globes said the restrictions imposed by the Defense Ministry was dampening UAV and other military exports.

Globes analyst Yuval Azulai said the Defense Ministry stopped a series of large Israeli UAV deals. Azulai said this prevented the repeat of the UAV industry’s record year in 2005, when exports reached $1.7

Azulai’s remarks came in wake of a report by Frost & Sullivan, which
reported $4.61 billion in UAV sales from 2005 through 2012. The British
consultant envisioned an increase in Israeli UAV exports by up to 10 percent
through 2020.

Globes said the Defense Ministry restrictions were implemented as the
United States was developing platforms. The newspaper cited the X-47B UAV,
developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy.

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