Small firms hit hardest by Israel's Eurosatory ban

Published date06 June 2024
AuthorDean Shmuel Elmas
Publication titleGlobes (Rishon LeZion, Israel)
Like the arms embargo that has continued to spread since the start of the war last October, the developments in the field of exhibitions is worrying. In March, the anti-Israeli government in Chile led by President Gabriel Boric excluded Israel from the prominent FIDAE air show in Latin America, which was held in April

The political echelon did not identify the start of a process, and thus Israel has found itself pushed out of a much more important exhibition in Paris, in which 74 Israeli companies had been to take part.

Now the world media will feature images of deserted pavilions in Paris, since in this type of exhibition places are reserved a year in advance. Those probably rubbing their hands with glee at Israel's exclusion, ordered by President Emmanuel Macron, are the senior executives of the French defense giants like Thales, Dassault Aviation, Naval Group and Safran, the rivals of Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, who will appear on a significant stage that the Israeli companies are being denied.

Other doors

Although Israel's big companies are not happy with the situation, they are not panicking. First and foremost, thanks to record order backlogs. At the end of the first quarter, Elbit's order backlog reached $20.4 billion, up $2.6 billion in just one quarter. IAI saw its order backlog increase by $1.1 billion in the first quarter to $19.1 billion, while Rafael's backlog amounted to $15.1 billion, up $850 million in the first three months of 2024.

Another reason why the big companies are less bothered about the French ban, is because of their international collaborations and subsidiaries. Elbit Sweden, Elbit's subsidiary in Scandinavia, as well as Rafael's German unit Dynamite Noble Defense (DND) are still expected to appear at the exhibition. Another company appearing at Paris will be German company Eurospike ion which Rafael has a 20% stake in partnership with Rheinmetall (40%) and Diehl (40%). About four months ago, Eurospike closed a deal worth $92.7 million for the sale of LR2 Spike missiles manufactured by Rafael to Romania.

An additional major collaboration is Proteus Advanced Systems - a joint venture of IAI and Singapore Technologies Engineering, which will be present at Eurosatory. Proteus has developed Blue Spear, a 5G anti-ship missile, which was delivered to Estonia in February as part of a NIS 150 million deal.

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