Israeli Aerospace and Defense Industry: A Constant Process of Development
In a rather competitive international environment Israeli Aerospace and Defense companies play a major role in the global scene. One of the main reasons behind this tendency is the fact that Israeli companies should not except to sell the majority of the products that they manufacture domestically. Hence, selling in foreign countries is almost a necessity. This trend is accurately highlighted by the financial results of Elbit Systems for the year 2007. Only 21% percent of Elbit Systems products have been sold to Israel whereas the remaining 79% have been sold to foreign countries, namely, 24% to Europe, 36% to USA and 19% to other countries.
Throughout the latest months Israeli Aerospace and Defense companies recorded several successes. On 3rd of August Elbit Systems announced that it was awarded another contract to supply the Australian Army with more Skylark I UAV systems, an advanced mini -UAV system, which is a unique man-pack configuration designed for day and night observation and data collection, for an estimated value of several million dollars. This was the Australian Department of Defence's third Skylark order, following the initial order for the Australian Army in 2005.
Additionally, on 1st of September Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it was awarded a contract to supply Hermes 450 UAV systems to a country in the Americas for the total of approximately $25 million. The contract also includes Skylark I systems, all to be delivered within a year. Haim Kellerman, General Manager of Elbit Systems UAS Division said: "We are proud to report another link in the chain of successes, with a new order from a new customer, attesting to the long -standing quality and operational abilities of our UAVs. Hermes 450 has proved its capabilities and reliability in the many years of operational performance". The words of Mr. Kellerman underlined the true value of this success which is not only the fact that the company has been awarded a new contract but it is also that a new customer had been added, something that will help the company to further expand.
Another success of the Israeli defense industry was that on 13th of August Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Bedek Aviation Group has been awarded an exclusive contract by Kenya Airways, Kenya's national flag carrier for CFM56-3/7 engine refurbishment and total support. The agreement, valued at over $100 million covers twenty six engines for a period of ten years on the airline's Boeing 737 planes.
Furthermore, on 23rd of September Air Transport Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc., has awarded Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. Bedek Aviation Group (IAI Bedek) a new contract for B767-200 aircraft conversions to freighter configuration. The contract, signed during the Cargo Facts Conference held in Miami, FL, is to convert up to fourteen (14) aircraft from ABX Air PC configuration to Bedek Special Freighter Configuration (BDSF). The actual value of the transaction is undisclosed but exceeds $100 millions.
Israel's Aerospace and Defense Industry is at the forefront of technological advancement, sophistication and efficiency by creating products of proven record of quality, reliability and serviceability. Based on this policy Israeli companies have recorded several successes on selling these products globally.
The article originally appeared in the newsletter of Epicos.com – The Portal for Aerospace & Defence Professionals. Its appears herein with their kind permission.