Israel and Montenegro yesterday signed an arms deal in the Israeli Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv worth approximately $35 million.
Israel-based Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will supply Remote Control Weapon Stations (RCWS), which will be integrated into US-manufactured joint light tactical vehicles.
The RCWS allows gunners to remain safely inside the vehicles while on the move, as the system is operated using handles and a smart screen, according to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva.
Elbit Systems has also supplied surveillance technology for use along the US-Mexico border.
With Montenegro’s defence spending valued at approximately $80 million per year, the deal with Israel is seem as sizable and significant.
Last month, the Israeli government revealed the main points of the plan to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports for the first time, reported Globes.
The project, being overseen by the Defence Ministry’s International Defence Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) led by Brigadier General Yair Kulas, will begin to be rolled early next year.
According to Globes, the plan is based on “focused seminars for senior commanders in foreign armies”, Israeli military “assistance for promoting sales of Israeli weapons”, and “subsidising small and medium-sized defence companies seeking to sell arms around the world”.
As reported by Globes, Israel’s defence exports totalled $7.5 billion in 2018, with 46 per cent being sent to Asia, 26 per cent to European countries, 20 per cent to North America, six per cent to Latin America and two per cent to Africa.
India remains Israel’s biggest arms market, thought to be worth about $1 billion annually.
Regarding the first government-to-government (GTG) deal with Montenegro, Yair Kulas said: “This first, GTG agreement is welcomed and applauded by all of us at the Ministry of Defence, as a stepping stone to expanding and deepening our cooperation with the state of Montenegro, a strategic NATO ally and a friend to the State of Israel.”
“This agreement reflects the value of Israeli defence innovation in addressing issues that our strategic partners and allies may face. It also reflects the excellent and ever-expanding relations that the Ministry of Defence and the State of Israel have with our Montenegrin partners on all levels.”
“We look forward to furthering the cooperation and exchange of know-how with our fellow Mediterranean state, and to hosting our Montenegrin friends in Israel on additional celebratory occasions.”
Israel established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Montenegro in July 2006, after the Balkan country was admitted to the United Nations as a member state.
In June 2017, Montenegro formally became a member of NATO.