In the relatively long history of the Israeli defence and aerospace industries, there has always been one leading export market considered as having the highest potential.
It was South Africa; Iran, during the days of the Shah; and then Turkey. In recent years, India has been the one with proven performance.
But all the signs indicate that Brazil is the next big thing for the Israeli industries.
Brazil has a big appetite for defence systems and Israel is making significant efforts to win contracts. Almost all the Israeli defence and aerospace companies are in Brazil, in force.
Last year, the Brazilian army began using Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450 unmanned air systems (UAS).
About the same time, Boeing teamed up with Elbit to strengthen its presence in the Brazilian market. The co-operation resulted in a unique networked simulators demonstration.
Boeing linked one of its advanced fighter cockpit simulators in St Louis, US, with a simulator more than 5,000 miles (8,050km) away in Porto Alegre, Brazil, demonstrating the effectiveness of sharing advanced situational awareness and training technologies between the US and Brazil.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has a vast operation in Brazil, but is still pushing ahead.
A few weeks ago Elta Systems, a subsidiary of IAI, signed an agreement of investment and co-operation with electronics company IACIT.
The agreement, signed by Elta subsidiary Lardosa, includes exchanges of knowledge between professional teams, investment in laboratories and factories, intellectual property agreements in both directions and, especially, product support guaranteed by IACIT.
The agreement also includes training of IACIT personnel for manufacturing, installation and support of Elta products in the Brazilian market.
The partnership’s target markets are defence and public security projects primarily for the Brazilian market, which could extend to international markets in the future.
Elta is a major defence electronics company, providing a wide range of systems in the field of radars, special mission aircraft, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), electronic warfare and communication.
IACIT is a defence electronics company operating in the fields of defence radar meteorology, control, automation, and communication and information technology.
The Israeli delegation to the LAAD defence exhibition last week was the biggest ever and, according to the various companies, the market outlook in Brazil is very promising.
In many fields the Israeli ministry of defence will have to co-ordinate the operations of the Israeli bidders in current and future contracts, to avoid clashes between manufacturers.