Given Israel’s perception of itself as being on a constant war footing, defense priorities are very much to the fore when it comes to the complexion of the companies that will represent it at the Farnborough Airshow. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI, Chalet A29), Rafael (Chalet B15), Bet Shemesh Engines Ltd (BSEL, Hall 3, 3742), and Elbit Systems (Hall 1, 1354 and 1356) will all be exhibiting, and the early indications are that defense systems and technologies will be at the forefront of their product offerings.
IAI is perhaps the preeminent aerospace defense concern in Israel in the realms of air, space, land, and sea. At the Farnborough International Airshow, IAI will be showcasing its air and missile defense products, UAVs, cyber solutions among other products.
In the commercial aviation sector, IAI said its focus is on business aviation, conversions, and MRO. The company designs, manufactures, and supports business jets, primary aerostructures and landing gear, servo control, and actuator systems for major international OEMs.
The company also has a 40-year history in aircraft passenger-to-cargo conversion and has delivered more than 200 converted aircraft. It has STC'd its Bedek Special Freighter (BDSF) for a range of aircraft cargo conversions, for both commercial and military markets.
IAI's Bedek Aviation Group is working on the conversion for the B737NG family and expects approval for the B737-800BDSF in the middle of this year. The STCs were certified by the FAA and EASA and validated by many other civil aviation authorities worldwide, the company said, adding that it has also converted the B747 and B767.
IAI also claims to excel in remotely piloted aerial systems, and although the emphasis is on defense and security applications, a number of new civilian applications are emerging in agriculture, such as monitoring crops, irrigation and herds, wildlife surveillance and protection, as well as emergency management and search and rescue.
IAI operates four cyber research and development centers in Singapore, Switzerland, and Israel, and heads the Israel Cyber Company Consortium (IC3), which offers end-to-end solutions for national cyber systems. The company is understood to have signed $40 million worth of cyber-security deals at the 2016 Farnborough show.
IAI also stresses a business jet focus: “IAI's Commercial Aircraft Group's Business Jets Division is a center of excellence for the production, assembly and after-sales support of business jets. Our G100, G150, G200 and the new G280 business-jets are an integral part of the Gulfstream family of business jets,” it said.
A Gulfstream backgrounder to the JSTARS (U.S. Air Force Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) program said that its G550 had been deployed in several other countries. "International special mission programs around the world, including those in Israel, Italy, and Singapore, for years have operated advanced intelligence-gathering systems from a G550 platform rather than a commercial airline platform," Gulfstream said.
BSEL, whose main shareholder became Israeli private equity concern FIMI Opportunity Funds in 2016, conducts MRO and research and development on military and civilian engines. In the civil sector it is an FAA- and EASA-approved repair station for Rolls-Royce/Allison 250-C20, -C30 engines and modules. It also machines large rotor parts, as well as the casting of various turbine blades and vanes, aerospace parts and other applications.
Haifa-based Elbit Systems Ltd. is engaged in a range of defense, homeland security, and commercial programs throughout the world. The company and its subsidiaries are active in aerospace, land and naval systems, C4ISR, unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, electronic warfare suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems.
Elbit said it also focuses on upgrading existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security, and commercial applications and providing support services, including training and simulation systems. It also claims to be engaged in a number of commercial activities, including commercial aviation systems and aerostructures.
“Farnborough is an excellent opportunity to meet with our clients and partners and discuss Rafael’s suite of aerial systems,” Ishai David, Ishai David, Rafael’s deputy spokesman, told AIN. “Our portfolio of aerial systems is…designed to upgrade existing platforms to gen.4.5, and is suitable for a very wide variety of platforms, including the Typhoon, Tornado, Gripen, and others,” he said.
“We offer the SPICE Family of air-to-ground munitions with its unique scene-matching technology for extremely high accuracy and GPS-jam immunity, our legacy air-to-air Python-5 and i-Derby ER, the Skyshield and Liteshield EW systems, the Litening attack pod and the Reccelite reconnaissance system, and lastly, the advanced BNET SDR communication system.
The company is engaged in more than 100 partnerships around the world, including with [the UK’s] British Aerospace (BAe) and Babcock.
The conversion of some of its technologies to civilian applications plays an important role in its business. This led to the establishment of RDC (Rafael Development Company), a civilian arm that derives civilian advantage from the advanced defense capabilities.