The Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems will produce mortar munitions with accompanying training to Montenegro.

The government-to-government (GTG) agreement between Israel and Montenegro will help to support the Montenegro Ministry of Defence (MoD) develop its security measures amid European mobilisation.

As part of the contract, Elbit Systems will supply 120mm mortar munition systems that can be mounted on 4×4 armoured vehicles as well as the training of soldiers and officers at the Elbit-IMI Academy in Israel. The agreement is valued at approximately €20m ($21.7m).

Director General of the Israel MOD, Major General (Res.) Eyal Zamir, approved the GTG agreement between the ministries, the third between the countries in recent years.

Director of SIBAT (the international defence co-operation directorate) in the Israel MoD, Brigadier General (Res.) Yair Kulas and Director of Logistics in the Montenegro MoD, Colonel Vladan Martic, signed the agreement in a ceremony held at the Israel MoD headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Kulas stated: “This marks the third agreement with our partners in Montenegro since bolstering our defense relations in 2019 and is a great expression of confidence in the Israeli defense industry.

“Montenegro is a partner and ally of Israel and faces complex security challenges like other European countries. Israeli defense industries are able to provide them with technological solutions of the highest standard.”

Montenegro’s priorities

According to GlobalData intelligence, the Montenegro MoD’s military doctrine is to strengthen co-operation with Nato forces. Montenegro’s armed forces will be supported with the capabilities of working with larger forces such as battalions, which is not possible domestically due to limited troop numbers. Due to Montenegro’s reliance on Nato the ability to host Nato troops is a priority.

With this in mind, Elbit’s weapons and mortar munitions will furnish the Montenegro forces with the appropriate spending figures toward its 2% GDP target for defence spending. It also provides the Adriatic country with the firepower it needs within the MoD’s means, while it remains secure as a Nato member since its induction in June 2017.