Israeli military firms lead world’s defense

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Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system

Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system

Israeli military companies are ranked among the 100 largest defense contractors in the world, according to weekly American magazine "Defense News". The magazine, that covers security industries around the world, recently published a report of the largest defense companies globally in 2015. There are four Israeli companies among them: Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Rafael and Israel Military Industries (IMI).

Both Elbit and IAI are public companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Israeli shekels. Reflecting its technology exporting success, Elbit Systems's stock has gained 51% in the past 12 months.

Unfortunately, Israel has many enemies set on its destruction. So Israel was forced to innovative and develop cutting-edge technologies in the defense and cyber security industries. The world's militaries continue to be impressed by Israel's prowess in defense technology, as recently demonstrated by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system successfully defending Israeli cities. While some of these technology and defense companies are government-run, some are publicly-held companies with a long list of prestigious military clients around the world, including the United States.

Elbit Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle

Elbit Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle

Israeli firm Elbit Systems was ranked in 29th place, IAI at 32, Rafael at 45 and IMI ranked 99. Having so many highly ranked defense contractors is unusual for a nation the size of New Jersey,  with only 8 million inhabitants (about a tenth of 1% of the world's population). The ranking was based on 2014 corporate income. Topping the list were American companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and arms manufacturer and aviation firm BAE Systems from the U.K.

Defense Minister Moshe Ayalon (left), IAI CEO Joseph Weiss

Defense Minister Moshe Ayalon (left), IAI CEO Joseph Weiss

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) makes components, parts, and systems for military and commercial operations worldwide. It has three AA rated shekel-denominated bond series that can be purchased and held in an Israeli brokerage account. The state-owned company consists of BEDEK Aviation Group (commercial and military aircraft support), ELTA Systems (defense electronics), Military Aircraft Group (maintenance and manufacture), Commercial Aircraft Group (executive jets, engineering and hydraulics), and Systems Missile and Space Group. Its defense-related products are sold to about 70 countries, while commercial sales include such diverse customers as British Airways, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and United Parcel Service.

Amos-4 Satellite

Amos-4 Satellite

Last month, IAI Israel Aerospace Industries, in its first satellite export contract, sold a high-resolution optical imaging spacecraft to an unnamed government, IAI officials said. IAI developed the successful Amos line of communications satellites, used over the Middle East, Europe and the U.S.

Tel Aviv-based IAI is also introducing an all-electric version of its Amos telecommunications satellite line, Amos-E, which the company said is aimed at a market of customers needing 10-20 transponders to maintain an orbital slot. Amos-E, which IAI Space Division General Manager Opher Doron said could be built in three years, is already being bid in one of several satellite competitions IAI has entered.  Several companies are building all-electric satellites, which offer up to 50-percent weight savings over conventional chemical propellant, allowing customers to add more payload or use the weight savings to secure a less-expensive launch service.

Amos-E, an all-electric version of Israel Aerospace Industries' Amos telecommunications satellite line

Amos-E, an all-electric version of Israel Aerospace Industries' Amos telecommunications satellite line

Lockheed invested this year for the first time in Israel when it participated in the capital raising stage of Israeli start-up company Cybereason, investing $ 25 million. The American weapons giant seldom invests in start-ups, and this investment was due to the Lockheed's high sensitivity to cyber threats to its systems.

Sources: Calcalist, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Space News, Google, Wikipedia

 

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