Elbit Systems

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Elbit Systems Ltd
Company typePublic company
Industry
Founded1966; 58 years ago (1966)
Headquarters,
Israel
Key people
Michael Federmann (chairman)
Bezhalel Machlis (CEO and president)
RevenueIncrease US$5.28 billion (2021)
Increase US$419 million (2021)
Increase US$275 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$9.32 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$2.55 billion (2021)
Number of employees
18,407 (2022)
Subsidiaries
  • Elbit Systems of America
  • Elbit Systems Electro-Optics – Elop
  • Elbit Systems Land and C4I
  • Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra
Websitewww.elbitsystems.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Elbit Skylark 1 unmanned aerial vehicle
Elbit Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an Israel-based international military technology company and defense contractor. Founded in 1966 by Elron, Elbit Systems is the primary provider of the Israeli military's land-based equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Elbit Systems also has subsidiary factories around the world, and sells its products to various countries' militaries. At its subsidiary factories in the United Kingdom and the United States, the company has faced protests for its support of the Israeli military in the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The company has also been divested from by international investment firms due to its involvement in the conflict.

In 2022, Elbit Systems reported having 18,407 employees, with most of them based in Israel.[2] Elbit Systems' shares are traded on the Tel Aviv and NASDAQ stock exchanges.

History[edit]

Elbit Systems was founded in 1966 by Elron Electronic Industries and the Israel's Ministry of Defense, under the name 'Elbit Computers Ltd.',[3] to develop computers and electronics for the Israeli military, its first product was a Minicomputer named 'Elbit 100'.[4] The Minicomputer was successfully sold for civilian use,[5] and in July 1970 the American company Control Data Corporation entered into an agreement to acquire Israel government's interest in 'Elbit Computers' for US$1 million.[6] Control Data Corporation marketed and distributed Elbit Computers' around the world.[7]

In 1978 Elbit had an initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and continued to develop Minicomputers, including a model called ANAT, that was developed and sold in corporation with German company Nixdorf Computer.[8][9] During the early 1980s the company started to refocus on defense electronics and developed systems and sub-components, among others, for the Lavi fighter jet and for the Merkava tank.[10] The company also changed it name at the time from 'Elbit Computers Ltd.' to simply 'Elbit Ltd.' and Control Data Corporation sold its stake in the company.

In 1996, Elbit was spun off into three independent companies: Elbit Medical Imaging, Elbit Systems, and Elbit.[11][12] From 1999 to 2000, Elscint (another affiliate of Elron) and Elbit Medical Imaging sold their imaging activities to General Electric Medical Systems and Picker. Elbit Systems was created as the defense electronics arm of the company. Elbit, which focused on communications activities, led the consortium that founded Partner Communications Company in 1999. In 2002, Elbit was merged into Elron.[citation needed]

In 2000, Elbit Systems merged with El-Op (then controlled by current Elbit chairman, Michael Federmann),[13] creating the largest non-governmental defense electronics company in Israel. Elron sold its shares in Elbit Systems for approximately $197 million in 2004.[14] Following the merger with El-Op, Federmann become the largest shareholder of the combined group.[citation needed] Following its merger, Elbit acquired Elisra, assets of Israel Military Industries' Aircraft Systems Division, and Mikal Ltd.[a][15] Elbit subsequently announced a cash tender offer for the 12.15% remainder of ITL Optronics Ltd held by the public.[16]

In 2006, Elbit acquired 20% of Chip PC Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of client solutions for server-based computing.[17] In 2016, Elbit launched Everysight, a developer and manufacturer of an augmented reality smartglasses for cyclists, founded in 2016.[18][19]

In 2016, The Intercept reported that, starting in 2008, the US National Security Agency and UK GCHQ had been tapping into live feeds from Elbit drones (among other Israeli air force equipment) as they were flown on missions by the Israeli military and air force against targets in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, and Lebanon.[20]

In November 2018, Elbit completed its acquisition of IMI Systems.[21]

In 2022, Elbit reported having 18,407 total employees, with most of them based in Israel. It reported 3,675 US employees.[2]

Ethical concerns and divestment[edit]

A number of financial and investment organizations have divested their interests in Elbit.

On September 3, 2009, the Government Pension Fund of Norway's ethical council decided to sell the fund's stocks in Elbit due to the company's supply of surveillance systems for the Israeli West Bank barrier.[22] At a press conference to announce the decision, Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen said "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law".[23] The Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Hans Jacob Biørn Lian, was called to a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry where the decision was protested.[23]

In January 2010, Danske Bank added Elbit to the list of companies that fail its Socially Responsible Investment policy. A bank spokesman noted that it was acting in the interests of its customers by not "placing their money in companies that violate international standards".[24][25] The Danish financial watchdog DanWatch placed Elbit on its ethical blacklist in 2011.[26] In 2014, one of Denmark's largest pension fund administrators PKA Ltd announced it will no longer consider investing in Elbit, stating "The ICJ stated that the barrier only serves military purposes and violates Palestinian human rights. Therefore we have looked at whether companies produce custom-designed products to the wall and thus has a particular involvement in repressive activities."[25]

In March 2010, a Swedish pension fund, not wanting to be associated with companies violating international treaties, boycotted Elbit Systems for its involvement in the construction of Israel's West Bank barrier wall.[27]

In December 2018, HSBC divested from Elbit[28] following Elbit's acquisition of IMI Systems. HSBC cited IMI's manufacturing of cluster bombs, which violated the bank's ethics policy of not investing in companies linked to the manufacturing or marketing of cluster munition.[29]

In 2019, Axa partially disinvested from Elbit Systems following pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[28][30][31] The move followed several years of campaigning by NGOs, including an April 2018 petition launched by SumOfUs that received 140,000 signatures. Axa "quietly reduce[d]" its investments in Elbit and Israeli banks.[28] Axa remains indirectly invested in Elbit and Israeli banks through a non-controlling interest in its former subsidiary Alliance Bernstein.[28][30]

Products[edit]

Elbit Hermes 900 and Elbit Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles in formation

Elbit Systems and its various subsidiaries provide various technologies for military command, control, communications, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance purposes. The company produces unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), electro-optics hardware, electronic warfare, signal intelligence (SIGINT) systems, and radio and communications products.[citation needed]

Production for Israeli military[edit]

Elbit Systems is the largest Israeli military manufacturer and produces 85% of the Israel Defense Force's land-based equipment as well as 85% of the drones used by the Israeli Air Force.[32] Elbit advertises that its equipment has been battle-tested by the IDF[33] in operations in Gaza and the West Bank. Elbit's drones have been reportedly involved in multiple incidents involving civilian deaths.[34] While Israel does not officially acknowledge that its drones are used to carry out strikes in Gaza or elsewhere, a 2016 report published by The Intercept suggested that Israel has used attack drones in fatal attacks.[20]

In August 2019, Elbit Systems won an Israel Ministry of Defense contract to install the Iron Fist active protection system on the IDF's new Eitan AFV and the IDF's fleet of armored D9 bulldozers.[35]

International activity[edit]

Azerbaijan[edit]

Israel supplies Azerbaijan advanced military equipment and helps train its army. As a part of the cooperation between the two states, Elbit Systems opened an office in Azerbaijan in 2011, with plans to build a plant for the joint production of unmanned aerial vehicles.[36] In 2023, it was reported that Elbit (along with other Israeli defense manufacturers) had played an extensive role in discreetly arming the Azerbaijani army for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict[37] that culminated in accusations of an Armenian genocide.[38]

Australia[edit]

In April 2021, the Australian Army announced that Elbit's battlefield management system would be withdrawn from use with short notice, effective May 15, 2021. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that this was due to concerns regarding the Elbit system's security.[39] An Australian Financial Review columnist stated that the security problems comprised "a 'backdoor' security vulnerability reportedly uncovered by the Australian Signals Directorate".[40] The Australian Defence Magazine reported that the system had failed two security milestones in 2020.[41] Elbit denied that the system posed any security risks.[39]

Belgium[edit]

On July 1, 2003, Elbit acquired the Belgian company OIP Sensor Systems.[42]

Brazil[edit]

Elbit Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle

In 2001, Elbit Systems Group completed its purchase of Aeroeletronica, a Brazilian company in the defense industry.[43] In January 2011, Elbit announced that it had bought two additional Brazilian companies: Ares Aeroespecial e Defesa and Periscopio Equipamentos Optronicos.[44] In April 2011, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer entered into a strategic agreement with AEL Sistemas S.A, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems. According to officials from the two companies, one of the primary goals of the Embraer-majority joint venture was introduce the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 UAV into the service of the Brazilian Air Force.[45]

Colombia[edit]

In March 2010, a $28-million contract for Hermes 450 UAVs was suspended by the Colombian government after media reports based on anonymous letters alleged that Colombian officials had been bribed.[46][47] The Israeli Ministry of Defense investigated and found that the letters likely came from Israel Aerospace Industries, a competitor that lost the tender.[46] The incident led to a review of the regulations governing overseas competition between Israeli defense companies.[46]

Ethiopia[edit]

On December 6, 2017, the Citizen Lab reported that Ethiopian dissidents and journalists in the US, UK, and other countries were targeted by sophisticated commercial spyware, sold and operated by Cyberbit, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems.[48][49] Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, said "the findings raised questions about the company's human rights due-diligence practices and processes for preventing misuse of its software."[50] In a reply to an inquiry from Human Rights Watch on the topic, Cyberbit did not deny selling this kind of technology, and rejected responsibility for its possible misuse on its customers.[51]

France[edit]

On June 19, 2011, Elbit announced that its subsidiary Elisra Electronic Systems Ltd. was awarded a contract valued at approximately €5 million to supply hundreds of units of its AN/PRC-684 Personal Locator Beacon to the French Ministry of Defense, equipping the French Air Force, Army, Navy and DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement).[52]

Germany[edit]

Elbit Systems bought the radio communication division of the former Telefunken. In 2020, it became Elbit Systems Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG. For the German military, Elbit produces the E-LynX SDR radio system, night vision and thermal imaging devices, and Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) for the A400M, radar warning receivers, and EW controllers for the CH-53GS/GE.[53]

Italy[edit]

On June 22, 2011, Elbit announced that it was awarded a three-year, US$15 million contract by Elettronica S.p.A. to participate in a program to supply the ELT/572 DIRCM system for installation on various platforms of the Italian Air Force, including the C130J, C27J and AW101.[54]

Philippines[edit]

Elbit won its first contract in the Philippines for the supply of upgraded armored personnel carriers to the Philippine military in June 2014. The upgrade included 25-mm unmanned turrets, 12.7-mm remote controlled weapon stations (, and fire control systems for 90-mm turrets.[55][56] In 2015, the Armed Forces of the Philippines received 114 M113 tracked APCs from the United States,[57] with remote control weapons systems designed by Elbit.[58]

On October 23, 2020, Elbit won contracts to produce 18 Sabrah ASCOD Light Tanks and 10 Pandur II Tank Destroyers along with 1 ASCOD 2 Armored Command Vehicle, 1 ASCOD, and 2 Armored Recovery Vehicles, as well as another contract to supply 28 Iveco VBTP-MR Guarani APCs for the Philippine Army's Light Tank and APC Acquisition Projects.[59]

Romania[edit]

Elbit Systems' activities in Romania, which started in 1996, are primarily carried out through its wholly owned Romanian subsidiaries, Elbit Systeme S.A., A-E Electronics S.A, Elmet International SRL and Simultec SRL, which have approximately 400 employees.[60] On May 24, 2011, Elbit announced that its Elisra Electronic Systems Ltd. Romanian subsidiary was awarded, in cooperation with other Romanian companies and led by the Romanian Aeronautical Industry, a four-year contract valued at approximately $18.6 million to upgrade the Romanian Air Forces' C-130 transport aircraft.[60]

Sweden[edit]

On June 17, 2021, Elbit Systems announced the establishment of its Swedish subsidiary Elbit Systems Sweden.[61] On January 13, 2022, Elbit Systems Sweden was awarded with a contract to supply combat management systems to the Royal Swedish Navy.[62][63] On January 24, 2023, Elbit Systems Sweden announced that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $48 million to equip the Swedish Armed Forces with new mobile tactical communications stations.[64][65][66][67] According to the contract, Elbit Systems Sweden is to develop and deliver two Technical High Mobility Shelter (THMS) variants, the RL HYTT 24A and RL HYTT 24B.[67][66]

United Kingdom[edit]

Elbit activities in the United Kingdom started in 1995, when it acquired 'Alvis UAV Engines Limited' from Alvis plc.[68] A company that was founded in 1992 by engineer David Garside, to develop Wankel engines for use in UAVs.[69] Garside has been developing Wankel engines since the late 1960s for BSA motorcycles and later Norton Motorcycle Company,[70] and had the idea of using the engines originally developed for motorcycles, for UAV's that required small but powerful source of power.[69] Elbit, through its subsidiary 'Silver Arrow', was the company's only major customer when it was acquired.[68][71] Since then the company has become a major gloal supplier of UAV Engines.[71]

Its subsidiary 'Elbit Systems UK Ltd.' was incorporated on September 24, 2004, as a holding company for Elbit's activities in the United Kingdom.[72] The company was incorporated after Elbit and French company Thales Group won a tender (code-named "Watchkeeper program") to supply the British Army with unmanned aerial vehicles.[73] The tender condition included a requirement to set up a local manufacturing facility for the program.[74] Therefore, at the end of 2005, a joint venture company was established with the Thales Group. The joint venture, named UAV Tactical Systems Ltd (U-TacS), was based in Leicester and manufactured the Watchkeeper WK450.[75] A flight testing facility was also set up at ParcAberporth in Wales.[76]

In 2007, Elbit acquired Ferranti Technologies, based in Oldham, Greater Manchester, a company that was part of the historic Ferranti group and provided solutions in the aerospace and defence markets.[77] Following the 2014 Gaza War, activists from Palestine Action and other groups began protesting outside Ferranti's factory, primarily against Elbit's production of various bombs and other military technology used by the Israeli Air Force and resulting in Palestinian casualties.[78] Activists particularly cited Elbit's production of the Hermes drone, which was involved in the deaths of at least four Palestinian children.[34]

In February 2016, Affinity Flying Services Limited, a joint venture between Elbit and Kellog, Brown and Root, was awarded a £500 million contract to manage the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS) program for the Ministry of Defence to deliver aircrew training for over an 18-year period.[79]

During the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, on May 19, 2021, four members of Palestine Action dressed in red boiler suits and climbed onto the roof of an Elbit Systems-owned drone factory in Meridian Business Park, Leicester.[80][81][82] The occupation lasted 6 days, and a total of 10 arrests were made for conspiracy to commit criminal damage and aggravated trespass.[80] Palestine Action group has staged similar occupations of Elbit Systems sites in Bristol,[83] Oldham in collaboration with Extinction Rebellion,[84][85][86] and Tamworth[87] in collaboration with Animal Rebellion.[88]

Elbit sold its Ferranti subsidiary in 2022 for £9 million, approximately £6 million less than it had purchased it for fifteen years prior. Activists attributed the sale to their years-long direct action campaign against Elbit's presence in Oldham.[78]

As of 2023, Elbit has multiple UK subsidiaries across sixteen sites in the country, with more than 680 employees.[89] Beginning in October, when the 2023 Israel–Hamas war began, several Elbit factories were protested by activists with Palestine Action. At the Instro Precision Factory in Sandwich, Kent, more than 100 people blocked the entrances. In Leicester, several activists climbed on the roof of the Howmet Fastening Systems factory, and a single protester chained themself to the entrance of the U-TacS factory.[90]

United States[edit]

Elbit owns several companies in the United States through its American subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America (ESA). ESA operates under a special security agreement with a proxy board, allowing it to function independently and separately from its parent company.[91][92] Elbit Systems of America (ESA) is incorporated in Delaware.[93] In 2022, Elbit Systems reported having 3,675 US-based employees.[2]

In 2014, Elbit Systems won a two-year, $12.7 million contract for the supply and provision of Apache Aviator Integrated Helmets for the US Army helicopter fleet.[94] On March 22, 2018, Elbit Systems and Universal Avionics announced that Elbit would be "completing the acquisition of the privately owned U.S. company Universal Avionics Systems Corporation [UASC] through an asset acquisition agreement."[This quote needs a citation] In 2019, Elbit Systems purchased the night vision business of Harris Corporation for $350 million. The purchase was conditional on Harris Corporation's merger with L3 Technologies.[95][96] In April 2019, Elbit Systems announced that it had partnered with DA-Group to produce and advertise its anti-jamming devices for global navigation satellite systems.[97]

In response to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, protesters chained themselves to the entrance of Elbit's office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 12.[98] Later that month, protesters from Palestine Action US claimed to have completely shut down the company's operations in an incident resulting in nine arrests.[99] In November at an Elbit location in Merrimack, New Hampshire, three protesters were arrested for vandalism.[100] According to an NBC News report, the "Merrimack Fire Department was also called to the scene due to a report of smoke coming from the roof [...] at least one of the main lobby doors had been locked shut with a bicycle lock."[101]

Locations[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The company initially purchased 19% of the firm, and later agreed to acquire Mikal's 100% holdings in Soltam Systems, Saymar, and the 87.85% portion of ITL held by Mikal; in exchange, Mikal's owners received the 19% of Mikal that Elbit had purchased.

References[edit]

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