Israel Aerospace Industries
|Traded as||TASE: ARSP.B1|
|Predecessor||Bedek Aviation Company|
|Products||Civil and military aerospace
|$84 million USD (2013)|
|$75 million USD (2013)|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Bedek Aviation Group
Commercial Aircraft Group
Military Aircraft Group
Systems, Missiles & Space Group
|Subsidiaries||ELTA Systems LTD|
Israel Aerospace Industries (Hebrew: התעשייה האווירית לישראל ha-ta'asiya ha-avirit le-yisra'el) or IAI (תע"א) is Israel's prime aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial systems for both military and civilian usage. It has 16,000 employees as of 2013. IAI is wholly owned by the government of Israel.
In addition to local construction of fighter aircraft, IAI also designs and builds civil aircraft (including for Gulfstream with aircraft such as the G100/G150 and G200/G250 mid-sized business jets) and performs local maintenance and reconfiguration of foreign-built military and civilian aircraft. In addition, the company works on a number of missile, avionics, and space-based systems.
Although IAI's main focus is aviation and high-tech electronics, it also manufactures military systems for ground and naval forces. Many of these products are specially suited for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) needs, while others are also marketed to foreign militaries.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 Manufacturing plants
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Israel Aerospace Industries was founded in 1953 as Bedek Aviation Company under the initiative of Shimon Peres, then director general of the Ministry of Defense, in order to maintain Israel Defense Forces aircraft. The company originally had 70 employees and recruited American born aviation expert Al Schwimmer as the company's founder and first president.
First aircraft manufacturing
In 1959 Bedek began manufacturing its first aircraft, a V-tailed twinjet trainer of French design, the Fouga Magister, locally called Tzukit (Monticola). The Tzukit became the Israeli Air Force principal trainer for 50 years. The IAI Tzukit was also used in the 1967 Six Day War by 147 Squadron as a close support aircraft, attacking targets on the Egyptian front during the first day of the war, when Israel's more capable combat aircraft were deployed on Operation Focus against Arab air bases. They were then deployed against Jordanian forces, including armour, on the West Bank. The Magister proved effective at the close-support mission albeit with heavy casualties, with six being lost.
The French embargo impact
In response to the French embargo, IAI began developing its own fighter aircraft, a derivative of the Mirage 5 called the IAI Nesher ("vulture"), in 1968. The Nesher entered service in 1971, in time for the Yom Kippur War. The Nesher was followed by the IAI Kfir ("lion cub"), which was developed as a result of Israel's need for adapting the Dassault Mirage III to the specific requirements of the Israeli Air Force. The Kfir entered service with the IAF in 1975, the first units being assigned to the 101st "First Fighter" Squadron. Over the following years, several other squadrons were also equipped with the new aircraft. The Kfir's first recorded combat action took place on 9 November 1977, during an Israeli air strike on a training camp at Tel Azia, in Lebanon. The only air victory claimed by a Kfir during its service with the IAF occurred on 27 June 1979 when a Kfir C.2 shot down a Syrian MiG-21.
The IAI Kfir has been exported to Colombia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka and was leased to the US Navy and the US Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989, to act as adversary aircraft in dissimilar air combat training (DACT).
In 1969 IAI acquired North American Rockwell's Jet Commander series of business aircraft. This became the basis for the IAI Westwind line. Work on an improved Westwind the Astra, by stretching the fuselage and designing a new swept wing, began in the late 1970s, with the first prototype flight on 19 March 1984. The first production Astra flew on 20 March 1985, FAA certification came on 29 August 1985 and customer deliveries started in 1986.
In the 1960s, IAI developed the Gabriel anti-ship missile and the Elta Electronics Industries subsidiary developed an inexpensive aircraft radar which would become a successful export item. In the 1970s IAI developed the Dabur class patrol boat
In the 1970s IAI also entered the Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market with the development of the IAI Scout. In 1984, IAI formed a joint venture with rival Israeli company Tadiran to market both companies' UAV's, the Tadiran Mastiff and the IAI Scout.
Developing the maintenance, repair and overhaul business
By 1980s the original Bedek maintenance business was conducting extensive overhauls on dozens of different aircraft types, working on engines as well as airframes and interiors, IAI could provide more comprehensive refurbishments than even the aircraft manufacturers themselves. The unit had 4,000 employees by the mid-1980s and overhauled a huge range of aircraft, from propeller-driven trainers to airliners; including big civil aviation programs, such as conversion of Boeing 747s to freighters.
The Lavi program
In 1980 the Government of Israel took the decision to use the experience IAI had accumulated to develop and manufacture a modern fighter plane to be the mainstay of the Israel Air Force. The aircraft, called the IAI Lavi, was to be a superior attack aircraft with advanced weapons systems. It had its rollout in July 1986 and successful maiden flight in December 1986.
In August 1987, after extensive government deliberations, the decision was made (by one vote) to cancel the Lavi program, due to the questioning of Israel's economic ability to support the cost of such an extensive program. This led to a serious crisis at IAI which necessitated a major reorganization of the company's structure and business strategy; the company's work force of more than 22,000 people, was cut by 5,500 in 1988 . However, the Lavi program was credited with developing a number of advanced technologies that IAI was able to market.
1990s onwards—export led growth
By 1989 IAI posted a profit of $11.8 million on sales of $1.28 billion. The company had four divisions—Aircraft, Aviation, Electronics, and Technologies—and 17 factories. IAI was established as a world leader in upgrading aircraft. Planes such as the Vietnam-era McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II were modernized with advanced avionics and weaponry.
In December 1997, the IAI Galaxy, a business jet with an intercontinental range developed as a joint venture Galaxy Aerospace with the Hyatt Corporation, made its first flight and entered service in 2000. In May 2001, General Dynamic's Gulfstream Aerospace bought IAI's Galaxy Aerospace Co. L.P. unit for $330 million.
In 2003, Israel Aircraft Industries attempted to enter the VLJ (very light jet) Market by launching the Avocet ProJet, a 6-8 seat high utilization air taxi with a list price almost half the cost of the least expensive business jet available at that time. In early 2006, ProJet development stalled after a major undisclosed US OEM pulled out of the program due to unspecified reasons.
The company was working with the Aviation Technology Group on a military trainer version of the ATG Javelin, a fighter style personal jet. The version being developed would have compete against a large field of jet trainers at a much lower cost of acquisition and maintenance. ATG halted development of the Javelin in 2008 due to a lack of funds.
On 6 November 2006, IAI changed its corporate name from "Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd." to "Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd."; to more accurately reflect the current scope of the firm's business activities, which includes not just aircraft, but also systems, satellites and launchers, as well as maritime and ground systems.
On 13 April 2009, the Moscow Times reported that the Russian Defense Ministry had signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace to purchase $50 million in pilotless drone aircraft. The contract reportedly includes three types of UAVs manufactured by the company.
In January 2012, IAI announced a sale of $1.1 billion of defense systems to an Asian country. The deal has been signed but the company did not name the buyer. It was reported that the sale will include IAI aircraft, missiles and intelligence technologies. Transparency International has rated IAI as one of the least diligent companies in the fight against corruption and bribery.
- Arava - Medium sized STOL transport aircraft (no longer in production)
- Westwind - Business jet (no longer in production)
- Astra/Galaxy - Business jets (now produced for Gulfstream Aerospace as the G100/G200)
- IAI Avocet ProJet - Revolutionary Very Light Jet  (program cancelled)
Civilian air systems
- Conversion of passenger aircraft to cargo aircraft
- Other models in development
- Flight Guard infrared countermeasures system against MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles
- 377M Anak - conversions done to several ex-Pan American World Airways Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliners into heavy lift military cargo aircraft after the United States refused the sale of the C-130 to the Israeli Air Force.
- Lavi - an Israeli fighter jet, abandoned when the United States refused to fund a F-16 competitor.
- Kfir - fighter jet.
- Nammer - fighter jet, updated version of the Kfir.
- Nesher - fighter jet, derivative of the French Mirage 5.
- ELTA-ELI-3001 - AISIS - Airborne Integrated SIGINT System.
- CAEW Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft - based on the G550 and equipped with the phalcon radar.
Unmanned aerial vehicles
- UAVs - unmanned aerial vehicles, manufactured by IAI's MALAT division:
Military air systems
- Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missile (together with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.)
- Upgrades to F-16 and F-15, and MiG-21 jet fighters
- Upgrades to Sikorsky CH-53 Yas'ur in project "Yas'ur 2000"
- Avionics upgrades for the Ka-50-2 Erdogan gunship in collaboration with Kamov
- Phalcon air surveillance system
- Eitam - adaptations of a Gulfstream G550 for airborne early warning and control
- Griffin LGB - a system for converting unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions
Ground defense systems
- IDF Caterpillar D9R's armor kit
- IAI JUMPER (See also XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System)
- Unmanned skid steer loader "Front Runner"
- Unmanned IDF Caterpillar D9 remote-controlled bulldozer
- Assembly of IC3 diesel multiple unit trains and double-decker railway coaches under license from Bombardier Transportation
- Taxibot, semi-robotic towbarless pushback tractor.
- Super Dvora Mk III class patrol boat 
- Super Dvora Mk II class patrol boat
- Dvora class fast patrol boat
- Dabur class patrol boat
- Arrow - Anti-ballistic missile system
- Arrow 3 - Anti-ballistic missile system
- Barak 1 - Surface-to-air missile.
- Barak 8 - Surface-to-air missile (jointly developed with DRDO of India.
- Gabriel - Air-to-surface, surface-to-surface anti-ship missile.
- Iron Dome - mobile all-weather air-defence system.
- LAHAT - Anti-tank missile.
- Nimrod - Air-to-surface, surface-to-surface missile.
- Amos (satellite)
- EROS (satellite)
- Ofeq Satellite series
- RISAT-2 satellite
- SHALOM (satellite)
- Shavit space launcher
- Middle East Newsline has reported that IAI will launch one or more CubeSats by the end of 2008.
- TecSAR reconnaissance satellite, launched on 21 January 2008
- VENuS satellite
- Systems, Missiles & Space Group
- Military Aircraft Group
- Lahav - aircraft upgrades
- Mata - helicopter upgrades
- Golan Industries - crash survival seats and other aircraft parts
- Malat - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
- Elta - Radars, electronic warfare and ELINT
- Bedek Aviation Group - MRO
- Aircraft Division - Conversion of passenger aircraft to cargo aircraft, heavy aircraft maintenance, Fleet Maintenance
- Engines Division - Repair and overhaul of civil and military aircraft engines (P&W, GE)
- Components Division - Repair and overhaul of civil and military aircraft components (APU, Landing Gear, CSD etc.).
- Commercial Aircraft Group
- Engineering Division - aircraft manufacturing and integration
- Maman - IT Services. mainly implementing and maintaining ERP/SAP Package.
- Shimon Peres - Profile, Defense News
- Al Schwimmer, founder of Israel Aircraft Industries, dies at 94 Haaretz, 11.06.11
- Aloni 2001, p.44.
- Aloni 2001, pp. 49–51, 54–55.
- "Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. - Company History", FundingUniverse
- IAI will lease Kfir aircraft to US Air Force, Navy - Globes; 18 June 2003
- Relman 1993, p. 314.
- Relman 1993, p. 316.
- "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" by Greg Goebel[dead link]
- IAI-Bedek Aviation Group Presentation
- Arens, Moshe (August 5, 2004). "Arrow, Ofeq, Lavi". Haaretz.
- ""התעשייה האווירית לישראל" לביא". Israeli Air Force Site. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Israel IAI-1126 Galaxy/Gulfstream G200. Airliners.net.
- Aviation International News, September 2003[dead link]
- Indian AWACS Moving Forward on 2 Fronts Defense Industry Daily, 8 June 2011
- Combined Dispatches, "Red-Faced Military Buys Israeli Drones", Moscow Times, 13 April 2009.
- http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=252795 Israel Aerospace sells $1.1 billion in arms to Asian nation
- Coren, Ora. "Watchdog: Israeli defense firms don't root out rot." Haaretz Newspaper, 4 October 2012.
- Sarsfield, Kate "Israel and USA grant full certification for Gulfstream G280". Flight International, September 4, 2012.
- "IAI/Elta's "Flight Guard" Commercial Aircraft Protection System Funded". Israeli Aerospace Industries. 8 September 2003.
- Israeli-Weapons.com - Anak(Boeing 377) Retrieved 8/28/11
- The United States and the LAVI, Airpower Journal Vol. IV, No. 3, (Fall 1990): 34-44, Lt Col James P. DeLoughry, USAF
- "New IAI "taxibot" to save airlines billions". Globes (Globes). 3 February 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "TAXIBOT SYSTEM". Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "ISRAEL PLANS NANO-SATELLITE LAUNCH". Middle East Newsline.
- Tran, Mark (21 January 2008). "Israel launches new satellite to spy on Iran". Guardian Unlimited (London). Retrieved 22 January 2008.
- Relman, Paul (December 1993). "IAI Astra: Israel's star-struck biz jet". Air International 45 (6): pp. 313–319. ISSN 0306-5634.
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