Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and close-in air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL).
Rafael’s exhibit here at the Singapore Airshow (Booth N51) reflects the outcome of the Israeli defense group’s recently completed reorganization that, according to chairman Brig. General (Retd.) Itzchak Gat, will better enable it to meet its goals for further developing its product portfolio.
Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Chalet A194, Static A33) is exhibiting a range of the company’s products and solutions at Paris, including the new Spice 250 weapon and a wide range of air defense missiles and control systems. Although it is well known for its missiles and electro-optical sensors, Rafael is involved in the creation of complex systems that bring increasing effectiveness, efficiency and economy to the defense arena.
Five days after a ceasefire ended the latest conflict between Israel and the Hamas regime controlling Gaza, in which the Rafael Iron Dome rocket interception system featured prominently, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced the first successful test of a new interception system. The David’s Sling system, or “Magic Wand,” that was co-developed with Raytheon and the U.S.
Halfway through a 10-year agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, the U.S. now gives Israel $3.1 billion each year in foreign military funding (FMF), which is about one-fifth of the total Israeli defense budget, according to a recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) .The FMF total does not include American money spent on joint missile defense projects with Israel, for which $99.8 million has been requested in Fiscal Year 2013.
Rafael has come to the Singapore Airshow to display a wide array of its products, which can be seen at Booth N55. The Israeli company has become a specialist in several key areas, such as air defense, precision weapons, reconnaissance sensors and systems, and command and control. It believes that its products and systems have great relevance in many areas of the world, especially in the Asia Pacific region.
Raytheon will market the Rafael Iron Dome mobile air defense system in the U.S., the companies announced. Raytheon and Haifa, Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems also are teaming to offer ballistic missile defense and target missile systems.
In defense terms, few would question the proposition that the state of Israel punches above its weight. And the same could well be said of its defense companies. Take Rafael, for example.
“I am running a boutique [defense company], we’re not Northrop Grumman,” Rafael’s chairman Ilan Biran told AIN, pointing out that most of its activities are confined to research and development and low-rate-of-production programs.
Having been developed in some urgency, Rafael’s Iron Dome dual-mission defense system is now operational, and in April an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) battery proved its worth for the first time when several Grad rockets were intercepted after launch from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.