Israeli defense firms find thriving market in South America

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TEL AVIV — Israel has sought to expand its defense market in South America.

Israel has offered a range of new and surplus combat platforms to a range of countries in South America. This includes fighter-jets, unmanned aerial vehicles as well as satellites to such clients as Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Elbit Systems' Hermes-450
Elbit Systems’ Hermes-450

“We consider the Latin American market to be a strategic market for the company in its vast array of activity,” Joseph Weiss, president of the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, said.

IAI and other Israeli contractors participated in a Chile defense show. IAI displayed a mockup of its Opsat3000 high resolution imaging satellite for the South American market at the FIDAE 2014 International Air Show.

“At a loaded weight of only 385 kilograms this satellite packs the performance that other satellites can only deliver at four, or even eight times its weight,” IAI said on March 23.

Both IAI as well as its leading competitor, Elbit Systems, have focused on UAV sales to South America. They included exports of Elbit’s Hermes-450 and IAI’s Heron-1 to Brazil for border and internal security missions.

On March 26, Elbit reported a contract by the Brazilian Air Force for
its advanced Hermes-900 UAV, an upgrade of the -450. The company said both
UAVs would help secure the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games.

“We are very proud to supply our Hermes 900 to FAB, which is the eighth
customer to be equipped with this leading platform,” Elbit general manager
Elad Aharonson said.

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