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Israel's 2015 military exports topped $5.7 billion

The file photo shows an Israeli Heron TP surveillance drone, known as the IAI Eitan. (AFP photo)

Israel’s military export contracts exceeded $5.7 billion last year with Europe receiving the second largest portion of the sales worth $1.6 billion, Tel Aviv says.

The Israeli ministry of military affairs made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the figure was up from $5.66 billion in 2014.

The statement also said that most of the exports, nearly 50 percent of the total or $2.3 billion, had gone to Asia and the Pacific.

Among these exports was Israel’s sale of 10 armed Heron drones to India, which was worth $400 million alone.

Most of the exports included aircraft upgrades and maintenance, as well as aerospace systems, which amounted to 14 percent of all new contracts. Radar and electronic systems came in second with 12 percent.

Drones, satellites, and naval systems were also among military exports from Israel, which is one of the world’s top 10 exporters of military equipment.

The announcement came just one day after the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released new figures showing that the world military expenditure totaled almost $1.7 trillion in 2015, a rise of one percent from the previous year.

According to the figures, Saudi Arabia spent $87.2 billion on weapons last year and came in third after the United States and China, which respectively spent $596 billion and an estimated $215 billion on arms last year.

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