As part of Israel’s new project to protect its natural gas rigs, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced it would finalize a 1.5 billion NIS deal with local defense industry companies by the end of the year to purchase advanced combat systems to be installed on ships. Israel’s defense minister stressed the importance of the local defense industries being invested in by the government.

Israeli Navy ships (Archives)

Israeli Navy ships (Archives) Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/ Channel 2 News

The Israeli Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that it would purchase combat systems for an estimated 1.5 billion NIS from Israeli defense industries that will be used on ships to protect Israel’s gas rigs. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that “there is a great deal of significance for the country’s economy and security.”

The deals which will be finalized by the end of 2017, in order to be completed in time for the ships’ arrival to Israel in 2019, are part of a project to protect Israel’s “economic waters.” The systems’ purchase is in addition to the four defense ships Israel bought from Germany. Various systems, such as those for interception, electronic warfare, command and control, software, communications, navigation and more, will be included.

The acquisition constitutes about half of the project’s government-approved budget, and is supposed to create great revenue for the Israeli defense industries. “There is a tremendous importance to the continued investment in the excellent and advanced defense industries,” Lieberman said. “They support tens of thousands of families directly and indirectly throughout the country, bringing in billions of dollars a year to Israel’s economy and make up a significant element of Israeli power.”