Military ties

Australia has various types of military ties with Israel, including imports, exports and  joint operations.

Australia is currently the sixth largest arms importer in the world. Between 2010 and 2014 Australia increased acquisitions by 65 per cent compared to the previous four years. Australia purchases the majority of its military equipment (68%) from the United States.

The Israeli government is a major player in the global arms trade. According to armscontrol.org, “(f)rom 2003 to 2010, Israel made $8.2 million in arms transfer agreements with developing countries, ranking Israel the eighth leading global supplier of arms. Over the same time period, Israel also ranked 5th among leading recipients of arms transfers, with arms purchases valued at $10.3 million.”

Haaretz reports that the links between Israel’s three largest defense contractors – Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems – and the Israel Defense Forces are very tight.

Israel’s military exports in 2012 were worth about $7.5 billion, and included weapons deals worth $3.7 billion with Asian and Pacific states, $1.6 billion with European states, $1.19 billion with the U.S. and $604 million and $197 million deals with Latin American and African states. In 2014 Israel’s military exports were reported as worth $5.66 billion in new contracts.

Australia also exports military equipment and dual use goods – goods not specifically dedicated to military use but able to be used for military purposes –  to a variety of nations around the globe. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics trade data, between 2007 and 2014 Australia exported military goods to Israel to the value of $3,386,433. These exports included parts and accessories for bombs and other munitions, military weapons such as revolvers and also ammunition.

ELBIT SYSTEMS
The largest Israeli arms company by sales is Elbit Systems. In 2014, Mondoweiss reported that ‘Drones supplied by Elbit Systems were tested during Israel’s recent attack on Gaza that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, and Elbit’s share price has risen since the massacre as investors anticipated a rise in orders of technology that was used for the first time during the attacks.’

The Israeli Army used Elbit’s UAV (Skylark) in the West Bank for the military campaign of house arrests in June 2014 titled “Brothers come home”. In the months of June and July of 2014, Elbit’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were used in multiple military nightly actions in the West Bank, through which many Palestinian civilians were arrested. The company remains one of the main providers of the electronic detection fence system to the Separation Wall project in the West Bank.

A 2014 Defence News article details Elbit’s involvement in the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – in which more than 2100 Palestinian women, children and men were massacred.

Elbit Systems in Australia
An Australian subsidiary of Elbit, Elbit Systems of Australia (ELSA) operates out of Port Melbourne Victoria and “was established to serve the needs of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) and serves as a venue to provide technology from abroad to Australia.”  ELSA delivered over $9.9 million worth of training to the Department of Defence in 2013/14.

  • In 2005, the Skylark mini-UAV was selected for rapid development by the Australian Army, leading to a contract for Elbit Systems to deliver six systems to the Australian Ground Forces.
  • In 2008, the Australian Department of Defence signed a contract for Elbit to supply mini-robotic aerial vehicles, in a deal worth several million dollars.
  • In 2010, the department purchased a $349 million battle group management system from Elbit; Australia was the first major international customer to select this system.
  • In 2013, the Australian Federal Police awarded Elbit the contract for part of its $145 million core operational system upgrade, on top of the $35 million worth of contracts already signed. This contract was revoked in January 2015.
  • Our research has shown that the Australian Government entered into over 100 contracts with Elbit Systems between 2005 and 2015, totalling $1.97 billion. This excludes classified contracts. It is likely that the Australian Government additionally entered into a further $178 million worth of military contracts  with other Israeli arms companies between 2003 and 2012. See TABLE 1 and 2 below for more details.

ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES

Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) is wholly owned by the Israeli government, and is the largest competitor to Elbit Systems in Israel.

Since 2009, the Australian military has been flying IAI-designed Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in the Middle East Area of Operations, based at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan. The Heron is also used for RPA training at Woomera training ground in South Australia.

The Herons that Australia flies are leased from a Canadian corporate which leases them from IAI. Herons are unarmed, however they are a key link in a targeting process known as “the kill chain.” The use of drones has generated a great deal of controversy, with critics arguing that they frequently miss targets and kill innocent bystanders.

In 2015, IAI announced that it had spoken with the Royal Australian Air Force about its Heron TP medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial system (MALE UAS). A senior IAI director of marketing in the Asia-Pacific region said that the company was keen to offer Heron TP to the ADF; although there is no program of record at present (Aug 2015), the Australian government is expected to include a MALE UAS in the Defence White Paper and subsequent Defence Capability Plan, due to be released mid-2015.

AUSTRALIAN MULTILATERAL PEACE KEEPING FORCES IN ISRAEL

TABLE 1:  Australian Government contracts with Elbit Systems (2003/04 to 2009/10)

Fin. YearDept.ContractorSubjectAmount
2005-06DMOElbit Systems P/LProcurement of Skylark Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system$1,688,413
2005-06DMOElbit Systems P/LProcurement of unmanned aerial vehicle & associated spares$2,739,268
Total$4,427,681
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Spares$290,272
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$1,255,289
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$395,998
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$883,037
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$116,677
2006-07DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$537,255
Total$3,478,528
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$684,615
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$224,359
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV air vehicles$259,550
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of UAV system$297,862
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$633,069
2007-08DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase for training services in country$122,150
Total$3,710,915
2008-09DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of 2 Skylark MUAS$570,833
2008-09DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark spares$138,558
2008-09DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark UAV spares$191,321
2008-09DMOElbit Systems LtdOrder Definition Activity for Battle Management System$5,268,668
2008-09DMOElbit Systems P/LSkylark frequency spectrum upgrade$330,000
2008-09DMOElbit Systems International Marketing (2003) LtdContract Elbit Systems to conduct a Parallel Offer Definition Activity (PODA) as detailed in the PODA Deed$945,146
2008-09DMOElbit Systems P/LProcurement of Skylark UAV spares$125,000
2008-09DMOElbit Systems International Marketing (2003) LtdRisk Reduction Activity for BGC3 Communication System$694,223
Total$8,263,749
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LSupply of material and labour associated with the RVT Link Upgrade$126,000
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LSupply of Operator Consoles and Antenna Rotators$134,193
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of quantity six Day Heads Up Display Units for use on the Chinook Helicopter$226,268
2009-10DMOElbit Systems LtdElbit to conduct risk mitigation activities prior to acquisition of a BMS in the G_Wagon$320,299
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LHornet date recorder$7,882,650
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LHornet data recorder$196,107
2009-10DMOElbit Systems P/LProvision of Skylark Mini UAV System Simulator Upgrade$262,178
2009-10DMOElbit Systems LtdConduct a Battle Group Command Post Exercise$311,707
2009-10DMOElbit Systems Electro-Optics ELOP LtdQty 20 Portable Lightweight Designator Rangefinder II System$4,632,129
2009-10DMOElbit Systems Electro-Optics ELOP LtdOperator Training for Pocket Laser Designator Rangefinder II$127,360
2009-10DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Group and Below Command Control and Communication System Contract, total reflects Base Date Dollars (3 rd Quarter 2007)$306,772,039
Total$320,990,930
2010-11DefenceElbit Systems LtdSoftware support$4,286,655
2010-11DefenceElbit Systems LtdExercise software support$135,323
2010-11DMOElbit Systems LtdAcquisition and 3 Years Maintenance of a Battle Group and Below Command Control and Communications (BGC3) System$349,000,000
2010-11DMOElbit Systems P/LSkylark Avionic Pods Central Left and Right Wings$227,557
2010-11DMOElbit Systems P/LPurchase of Skylark Cameras and Cable$122,134
2010-11DMOElbit Systems LtdProcurement of a training local area network (LAN) for 7 Brigade$314,431
2010-11DMOElbit Systems P/LSkylark Telemetry Decoding Software Application$145,582
2010-11DMOElbit Systems LtdBGC3 – PMV VIK Components$100,379
2010-11DMOElbit Systems P/LSupply of BDSpares for Skylark UAS$105,823
2010-11DMOElbit Systems International Martketing (2003) LtdBelow Command Control and Communications (BGC3) System and the Supplementary Voice System (SVCS) for the LCM1E Craft$207,892
Total$354,645,776
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdExercise software support$396,456
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdExercise software support$2,576,746
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdEngineering support$262,363
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdSoftware Licenses$209,059
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdEngineering Support Services$645,904
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdSoftware Maintenance and Support$325,996
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdHardware and Software License to support Exercise$4,288,992
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems LtdHardware and Software License to support Exercise$2,760,692
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems of AustraliaSoftware Licences and Engineering Support$409,506
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems of AustraliaSpecialised hardware$201,854
2011-12DefenceElbit Systems of AustraliaHardware and Software Licence to support network digitisation$571,883
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdCosts to expedite PMCV deliveries$346,403
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdIOC Continuation$257,702
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdCosts to expedite PMCV deliveries$138,639
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdIOC Continution$138,015
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdTechnical support for Multinational Exercise$239,903
2011-12DMOElbit Systems LtdAlternate Remoting Kits for Bushmaster$3,547,687
2011-12DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaSystems Integration Services$6,360,747
Total$23,678,547
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdLightening Arrestors and Gas Discharge Devices$109,356
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdEngineering Support – BGC3-PMV Gunring Floor Plate Assembly$127,117
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdRepair Parts Identification List$134,199
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdSoftware Maintenance$141,396
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdEngineering Support – BGC3-PMV Gunring Floor Plate Assembly$143,285
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdBGC3 Training Assemblage$169,247
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdInstallation of BMS G-Wagon Kits with Prototype Cables$389,400
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdField Service Representative$485,006
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdField Service Representative$507,493
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdDesign Effort for the M113 Vehicle$8,482,215
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdFleet Management Support Service$1,140,914
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdBGC3 Training Assemblage – USD Component$1,504,680
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdDesign Effort for the M113 Vehicle$2,349,778
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdDesign, Integration and Installation of Military Communications in LHD Landing Craft$3,306,398
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdDesign, Integration and Installation of Military Communications in LHD Landing Craft$3,833,011
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdAlternate Remoting Kits for Bushmaster $4,006,132
2012-13DMOElbit Systems LtdHornet Data Recorders$8,078,756
2012-13DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaSystems Integration Services$6,360,747
Total$33,635,130
2013-14DefenceElbit Systems of AustraliaTraining delivery$9,912,115
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdHornet Data Recorders, miscellaneous items and support services$8,078,756
2013-14DMOElbit Systems EW and SigintSurvey & Quote for repair of aviation equipment$235,204
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdTactical Computer and components for LHD Landing Craft$199,598
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdRetrofit of Initial Materiel release vehicles$288,649
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System G-Wagon Kit$839,057
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdTraining Support to 3 BDE$933,634
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System G-Wagon Kit$1,997,665
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdRetrofit of Initial Materiel release vehicles$2,043,146
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System – Risk Reduction Activities$27,849,318
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System – Risk Reduction Activities$50,417,759
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdAdditional Battle Management System Supplies$53,919,901
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdAdditional Battle Management System Supplies$100,276,122
2013-14DMOElbit Systems LtdAcquisition and 3 Years Maintenance of a Battle Group and Below Command Control and Communications (BGC3) System$349,000,000
2013-14DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaProvide financial support for training and skilling activities in trade, technical or professional skill sets that are required to meet a current or future Defence capability need$230,996
2013-14DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaDesign, integration and installation of military comms in LHD Landing Craft$4,203,905
2013-14DMOElbit Systems of Australia Pty LtdBattle Management System$743,647
2013-14DMOElbit Systems of Australia Pty LtdBattle Management System$888,097
2013-14DMOElbit Systems of Australia Pty LtdDesign, integration and installation of military comms in LHD Landing Craft$3,438,679
Total$615,496,248
2014-15DMOElbit SystemsHornet Data Recorders, miscellaneous items and support services$8,078,756
2014-15DMOElbit SystemsEW and Sigint Syrvey & Quote for repair of aviation equipment$235,204
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdTactical Computer and components for LHD Landing Craft$199,598
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdRetrofit of Initial Materiel Release Vehicles$288,648,89
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System G-Wagon Kit$839,057
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdTraining Support to 3 BDE$933,634
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System G-Wagon Kit$1,997,655
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdRetrofit of Initial Materiel Release Vehicles$2,043,146
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System - Risk Reduction Activities$27,849,318
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdBattle Management System - Risk Reduction Activities$50,417,759
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdAdditional Battle Management System Supplies$53,919,901
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdAdditional Battle Management System Supplies$100,276,122
2014-15DMOElbit Systems LtdAcquisition and 3 years maintenance of a Battle Group and Below Command Control and $349,000,000
2014-15DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaProvide financial support for training and skilling activities in trade, technical or professional skill sets that are required to meet a current or future Defence capability need$230,996
2014-15DMOElbit Systems of AustraliaDesign, integration and installation of military comms in LHD Landing craft$4,203,905
2014-15DMOElbit Systems of Australia Pty LtdBattle Management System$743,647
2014-15DMOElbit Systems of Australia Pty LtdBattle Management System$888,097
Total$602,145,455

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TABLE 2: of Australian Government contracts with other Israeli arms companies (2003/04 to 2009/10)

Fin. YearDept.ContractorSubjectAmount
2003-04DefenceRafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2003-04DefenceRafael Missiles Division – Air/Surface sysEmployment of a Field Service Representative at RAAF Amberley$5,630,957
Total$12,628,800
2004-05DefenceRafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2004-05DefenceRafael Missiles Division – Air/Surface sysEmployment of a Field Service Representative at RAAF Amberley$5,630,957
2004-05DefenceRafael Armament Development Authority LtdSurface Combatant Force Protection Upgrades$6,521,144
Total$19,149,944
2005-06DMORafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2005-06DMORafael Missiles Division – Air/Surface sysEmployment of a Field Service Representative at RAAF Amberley$5,630,957
2005-06DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdSurface Combatant Force Protection Upgrades$6,521,144
Total$19,149,944
2006-07DefenceRafael Armament Development Authority LtdProvision of Mini-Typhoon & TopLite Training to KANIMBLA & TOBRUK System Operators & Maintainers$129,067
2006-07DMORafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2006-07DMORafael Missiles Division – Air/Surface sysEmployment of a Field Service Representative at RAAF Amberley$5,630,957
2006-07DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdDelivery of Rafael Systems$649,350
Total$13,407,217
2007-08DMORafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2007-08DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdRapid acquisition of amphibious ships close range weapon capability – mini typhoon toplite & typhoon gun systems$18,009,118
Total$25,006,961
2008-09DMORafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2008-09DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdRapid acquisition of amphibious ships close range weapon capability – mini typhoon toplite & typhoon gun systems$18,009,118
Total$25,006,961
2009-10DMORafaelSupply of 14 Bushmaster M242 Cannons with the option of 7 more at USD 285,427 each$6,997,843
2009-10DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdRapid acquisition of amphibious ships close range weapon capability – mini typhoon toplite & typhoon gun systems$18,009,118
Total$25,006,961
2010-11DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdConduct structured flight trials for synthetic aperature$353,877
2010-11DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdConduct integration and testing flight trials for UHF Repeater$749,194
2010-11DMORafael Armament Development Authority LtdRapid acquisition of amphibious ships close range weapon capability – mini typhoon toplite & typhoon gun systems$18,009,118
2010-11DMORafael Advanced Defense SystemsLong Range Chaff Rocket Spares$167,642
Total$19,279,831
2011-12DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdFlight Trials$478,288
2011-12DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdEngineer Training on Aircraft Systems$141,203
2011-12DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdSynthetic Aperture RadarTraining$828,245
2011-12DefenceIsrael Aircraft Ind LtdFlight Trials$2,665,545
2011-12DMORafael Advanced Defense Systems LtdElectrical Equipment and Supplies$7,624,313
2011-12DMORafael Advanced Defense Systems LtdElectronic Hardware and Component Parts and Access$2,126,684
Total$13,864,278

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