Written answers

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Equipment

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein)
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14. To ask the Minister for Defence the value of weaponry and equipment for military purpose purchased from Israel or Israeli companies or planned to be purchased from Israel or Israeli companies since March 2011. [20052/14]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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A number of Israeli companies have successfully tendered for and have been awarded contracts by the Department of Defence for the provision of defensive equipment to the Defence Forces as a result of competitive tender competitions. This is not a new development and has been the situation for many years.

The principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts is used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment, including weaponry, for the Defence Forces. Central to those procedures is the requirement to allow fair competition between suppliers through the submission of tenders following advertising of the tender competition on the e-tenders site. Such tender competitions are open to any individual company or country in accordance with the terms of all UN, OSCE and EU arms embargos or restrictions. There are no such restrictions or embargos in place on Israel or Israeli companies. Tender competitions are held in accordance with the EU Code of Conduct on Export Controls.

The primary purpose for the procurement of weaponry and defensive equipment by the Department of Defence is to enhance the capability of the Irish Defence Forces on overseas Peace Support Operations and to afford the greatest possible force protection to Irish troops whilst on such missions. I understand that the value of defensive equipment acquired or being acquired from Israeli companies since March 2011 is in the region of €2.9m, exclusive of VAT. The main expenditure relates to a contract awarded to Elbit Systems for the supply of ten Ground Surveillance Radars to the Defence Forces following on from a detailed tender process carried out over the last twelve months. The main purpose for the acquisition of the Ground Surveillance Radars is again for force protection on overseas missions.

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