January 9, 2012 / 7:47 AM / 8 years ago

Israel Aerospace sells $1.1 billion arms to Asian nation

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will sell weapons systems worth more than $1.1 billion to an Asian country over the next four years, the state-owned defense contractor said on Monday.

It said the deal had been signed but did not identify the buyer. Israel’s past defense trading partners in Asia have included Singapore, South Korea, India and China.

The sale includes IAI aircraft, missiles and intelligence technologies, an Israeli defense industry source told Reuters. It is the company’s most lucrative deal since the Indian navy bought an aerial defense system for $1.1 billion in 2009.

IAI also develops military and commercial aerospace technology, including communications satellites, and unmanned air systems. Like other Israeli firms, it was hit by the government’s suspension last year of defense exports to Turkey after diplomatic feuding frayed a once-strong alliance.

Israel plans a public offering of 20-30 percent of IAI, its biggest defense contractor, this year, the Finance Ministry said in April.

TheMarker financial news website reported that the company, which had sales of $3.15 billion in 2010, was expected to be valued at $2.5-3 billion at privatization.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Louise Ireland

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