Israel's defence ministry has eased the previously severe restrictions it had imposed on local companies seeking to export unmanned air systems. The change in policy was prompted by growing competition in the market for such equipment.

An Israeli defence industry source tells FlightGlobal that a change in attitude over recent months has been very clear. "We [now] receive export licences to countries that were banned before, and for systems that we could never dream of exporting," the source says. It has also become easier for companies to deliver on technology transfer requirements, the source says.

The defence ministry says the new guidelines are accompanied by strict "end user" agreements reached with customers, with penalties to be imposed if terms are breached. Its decision to ease controls on sales is intended to give Israel's defence industry better opportunities to compete in the international market.