Israel approves anti-drone systems purchases for Ukraine
Israel approves export licenses for possible sale to Ukraine for two of its companies developing anti-drone systems
Axios writes about this with reference to three Israeli and Ukrainian officials.
The publication notes that this is the first time since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine that Israel has approved licenses for the export of defense products for possible sale to Ukraine.
Before that, Israel tried not to provide military aid to Ukraine, fearing to cause tension in relations with Russia and harm its own security interests in Syria, the journalists explain.
But after Russia began using Iranian-made attack drones, the Ukrainian government increased its pressure on Israel for military aid.
Ukrainian officials are convinced that the provision of weapons systems to Ukraine is in Israel's interests, since Iran can improve its drones based on the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Israeli Defense and Foreign Ministers Yoav Gallant and Eli Cohen approved the export licenses in mid-February as Israel reviewed its war policy at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli and Ukrainian officials said.
According to Israeli sources, this review has been completed, but no new decisions have been made. Licenses were approved for two Israeli companies, Elbit and Rafael, which develop anti-drone systems.
Israel is offering to buy Ukraine electronic warfare equipment to block and shoot down drones, which have a range of about 25 miles and can be located near power plants or other critical locations.
According to an Israeli official, one of the reasons Israel approved the licenses is apparently to see how the systems work against Iranian drones.
A Ukrainian official told Axios that a delegation from the Ministry of Defense recently visited Israel to watch a presentation of anti-drone systems. However, he confirmed that the agreement has not yet been signed.
However, the publication adds that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine considers these systems to be a lower priority, because the Defense Forces manage to intercept drones in 75-90% of cases. The Ukrainian official emphasized that defense systems against ballistic missiles are more important for Ukraine.