Australian arms companies and Israel’s human rights violations
Many Australian companies supply weapons components for arms and military hardware used by Israel against Palestinians. According to international law, it is illegal to knowingly allow weapons to go to a country or entity perpetrating war crimes. Australia has approved 322 defence exports to Israel over the past six years (2017-2022), according to new figures released by DFAT.
In November legal action was taken in Australia by Palestinian human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in conjunction with the Australian Centre for International Justice to obtain information on Australia’s arms exports to Israel since October 7, 2023.
F-35 jet fighter aircraft
Australia is part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter global supply chain which supplies parts and components to Israel’s F-35 jets which are enabling Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
More than 70 Australian companies have been awarded contracts for the development, production and sustainment of the F-35, valued at AU$3 billion.
Key components for this aircraft are manufactured in Australia – including uplock actuators and weapons adaptors – both enabling bombs to be released by these jets onto Palestinian civilians in Gaza since October 7.
Rosebank Engineering in Melbourne produces uplock actuators which are essential for the operation of the weapons bay doors, and Ferra Engineering in Brisbane is the exclusive manufacturer of the weapons adaptors for the F-35 jets. These components are crucial for the release of munitions from these jet fighters.
2017 – Israel is already the largest export market for BISALLOY® Armour grade steel
Rafael and Bissaloy Steels
2018- Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Australia’s Bisalloy Steels signed a contract for the supply of BISALLOY® Armour steel for use in Rafael’s globally-deployed add-on armour range for Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs).
Rafael and Varley Group
2018 – Rafael announced a joint venture with Australian military and engineering company Varley Group, which is based in Newcastle, NSW, to “create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Australia for production and support of Rafael’s fifth generation Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missiles.”
Varley Group’s website states that the firm VRA “will deliver cutting edge Australian produced and supported capabilities such as the SPIKE LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW).”
Elbit Systems and Electro Optic Systems (EOS)
in 2019 Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS) and Israel’s Elbit Systems developed a modular medium-calibre turret that could be configured for a range of platforms, including lightweight reconnaissance and heavy infantry fighting vehicles.
EOS is part of Team Redback which includes Elbit Land Systems, EOS Defence Systems, Bisalloy Steels, ECLIPS Logistics, Soucy Defense, Milspec Manufacturing and CBG Systems; and a growing list of Australian suppliers working on the Redback Turret for the Infantry Fighting Vehicle.