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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Aerospace Industries’

Ofek 11 Spy Satellite Is Alive and Well and Sending Great Pictures

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

The Israeli satellite Ofek 11 (Ofek means horison in Hebrew) on Thursday started to transmit images from space after many days in which no one in the local aerospace industry was sure about its fate, according to Amnon Harari, head of the space administration in the Defense Ministry.

“Starting September 13, we’ve been engaged in taking down one subsystem after another until we got control of the satellite,” Harari told Walla, adding that “now it’s been giving operation-grade production, excellent pictures.”

Ofek-11, part of the Ofek family of reconnaissance satellites designed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, was launched, using the Shavit launcher, on 13 September from the Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv, two years after the launch of Ofek-10. The Ofek 11 features a new imaging system called “Jupiter High-Resolution Imaging” with resolution increased to 0.5 meter, and using a new satellite platform, OPSAT-3000.

The launch ten days ago looked like a success, except that, about 90 minutes later, the project engineers realized that not all systems were functioning or responsive as the satellite had entered its orbit.

“The birth of this satellite was difficult, like the birth of a baby” Harari admitted. “Now we can say that the launch was a success. We overcame the problem.”


Israeli Defense Companies Converge on Industry’s Next Big Market — Poland

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Poland is developing an ambitious, multi billion dollar program of modernizing its armed forces, which is attracting several Israeli-based companies, including Elbit Systems, Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), all of which are attending this year’s MSPO exhibition in Kielce in south central Poland (halfway between Częstochowa and Lublin).

Israel Sharon, IAI’s marketing manager for Poland, told Shephard Media that Israel’s defense strategy “seems to be similar to Polish strategic thinking. More emphasis is put on the national indigenous defense capacity, strongly embedded in an alliance, but able to stand alone in deterring any aggression.”

Elbit Systems is looking to sell Poland its Hermes 450 medium size multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle, designed for tactical long endurance missions.

The Raytheon Company, a major US defense contractor, announced on Tuesday that it had offered to sell to Poland the SkyCeptor interceptor, a modified version of the Stunner interceptor, jointly developed by Israel and the US, which is in production and field testing by the IDF as part of the David’s Sling system, Shephard reported. Skyceptor will be integrated with the Patriot air and missile defense system.

Poland would be using its version of the David’s Sling system as part of the Wisla missile defense program. In July, Poland’s state-run defense group PGZ signed a letter of intent with Raytheon to cooperate on Poland’s new missile defense program Wisla, which included acquisition of Patriot missiles. Now Raytheon expects Wisla to be getting the green light from the Polish Ministry of Defense, which will submit a formal letter of request (LOR) to the US to purchase the Patriot.

John Baird, Raytheon’s VP of Poland programs, told reporters in Kielce that the inclusion of the SkyCeptor interceptor as part of the Patriot package is a cheaper option against “short-to-medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced air defense threats.”

“We have embarked over the past three years to produce and develop a US-compliant variant of Stunner,” Raytheon’s Dave Orr explained, adding “we think we can develop within 36 months of contract award SkyCepter missiles for the Polish Armed Forces.”

IAI is also bidding for the modernization of the Polish MiG-29 fighter jets and legacy helicopters. According to Shephard, IAI has already entered into an agreement with the Czech company Retia to produce air defense radar systems.


SpaceX Rocket Blows Up, Taking Israeli Amos-6 Satellite With It [video]

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was scheduled to carry an Amos 6 communications satellite for the Israeli company Spacecom on Saturday exploded on the Cape Canaveral launch pad at 9:07 (EST) Thursday morning, destroying the satellite as well.

The Amos 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

The Amos 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket. Courtesy: SpaceX

The company said the launch pad was clear and no one was injured in the accident, adding in a statement: “SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in loss of the vehicle and its payload.”

Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd is being acquired by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group for $285 million. According to industry media reports, the transaction’s terms were pending on the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Saturday, Sept. 3, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Israeli scientists developing AMOS-6 satellite.

Israeli scientists developing the AMOS-6 satellite.

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, a.k.a. SpaceX, is owned by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also owns the electric car company Tesla.

Spacecom, developed the Amos-6 satellite for Facebook and the French satellite provider, Eutelsat, in a venture intended to supply free Internet to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org non-for-profit initiative of providing affordable or free Internet to countries with limited or no access to what founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes as “the knowledge economy.”

AMOS-6 was designed to be able to cover the Middle East, Central East Europe and much of Africa.



Content by Alexander J. Apfel/TPS was used in this report.

David Israel

Israeli Satellite Company Sold to Chinese for $285 Million

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Israeli Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd for $285 million, both companies announced last week. Spacecom operates the Amos-2, Amos-3 and Amos-4 communications satellites and is owned by Eurocom Group, which is controlled, in turn, by Shaul Elovitch, controlling shareholder of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication.

According to a press release statement, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Spacecom and will integrate it into an existing Luxembourg company called Luxembourg Space Telecommunication S.A., which will be the legal purchaser of Spacecom. After the acquisition is complete, Spacecom will become a private company, but its debentures will continue to be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The merger requires shareholder and regulatory approval before it can be finalized. According to Space News, the transaction’s terms are pending the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Sept. 3 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The price being paid is a 30% premium on the share’s market price, according to Globes. The deal reflects a premium of 41 percent to Spacecom’s average stock price in the past month, according to Reuters.

Spacecom Chief Executive David Pollack said in a statement that the “global market of communication satellites is undergoing a consolidation process, enabling the merging companies to improve their competitiveness,” and so “further to contacts with various entities, the negotiations with the Beijing Xinwei Group matured into this transaction, reflecting a substantial premium on the market price.”

Pollack noted that “Beijing Xinwei is a strategic partner, expert in the field of telecommunication, planning to expand its business in the communication satellites field. The merger will provide the Company with financial strength, and will enable further development and growth. The transaction is performed in accordance with Space Communication’s license terms, stipulating, inter alia, that the satellites will be operated from Israel, and that the Company shall remain an Israeli company, regardless of the identity of the shareholders of the Company.”


Final Lavi Trainer Aircraft Delivered to Israel

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Hatzerim (TPS) – The final three Lavi M-346 trainer aircraft were presented to Israel at an official ceremony marking the completion of a procurement deal between Israel and Italy.

“I can’t remember a deal of this size that was completed without delays and with so much appreciation,” said Defense Ministry Deputy Director General Shmuel Tzuker. “The Lavi contract opened opportunities for deals between Israeli, American, and Italian industries. The Israeli Air Force is now the world’s largest user of the M-346 aircraft and we love it and believe in it.”

The ceremony was held at Hatzerim Air Force Base near Beer Sheva and was attended by both Israeli and Italian officials, including Defense Ministry Director General Udi Adam and Mauro Moretti, the creator of the plane.

Israel had signed an agreement with Italy in 2012 to the tune of NIS 4 billion that would provide Israel with 30 planes. The first plane arrived in 2014 and the rest were delivered at a rate of 1.5 planes a month.

Italy also committed to buying a substantial amount of Israeli defense products as part of the deal.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Liberman Appoints Two of his Party ‘Rebels’ to Key Military Industrial Complex Roles

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

In a move that seemingly contradicts the conventional media views of his self-interested party boss manner, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday appointed two talented men to head two of Israel’s top military industrial institutions, despite the fact that both men have walked out on his party a year ago.

Liberman appointed Yair Shamir as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Yitzhak Aharonovich as chairman of Israel Military Industries (IMI). The appointments were made in coordination with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu). The announcement of the two appointments said that “these are the most appropriate people for these roles and they will advance the companies they will head.”

The son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Yair Shamir served as MK for Yisrael Beiteinu between 2013 and 2015, and held the post of Minister of Agriculture. Shamir has already served as chairman of IAI, between 2005 and 2011, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak removed him from office. He was credited with the company’s stunning recovery, most importantly because in his first year as chairman he replaced 13 of the company’s 19 top managers. Under his leadership the company’s net profit grew from $2 million in 2005 to $130 million in 2006, with revenues growing from $2.341 billion to $3.148 billion by 2010. Shamir issued Israel Aerospace Industries tradable bonds worth $363,360. He also took IAI to the Russian market, established a leading position in the drone industry and launched four space satellites.

In January 2015 Shamir, whom Liberman had appointed party leader in 2012, announced he was leaving the party and would not run in the 2015 elections because of disagreements with Liberman over foreign policy.

Incidentally, in an interview with The Jewish Press in 2004, Shamir said that he did not believe in surrendering Israeli-controlled land to the Arabs, and criticized Benjamin Netanyahu for caving in to pressure too easily. Shamir stressed that Israel should do what it thinks is right without regard to what the world thinks.

Yitzhak Aharonovich in January 2015 announced that he was retiring from politics, and would not run in the 2015 elections, but did not spell out his reasons. His tenure as Minister of Public Security was marred with the escalation of terrorism in Jerusalem, including attacks on the light rail, a gas station, and the Temple Mount police post, several ramming attacks, the Har Nof synagogue massacre, the assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick, and countless riots on the Temple Mounts. Several high-ranking police officers were forced to retire over sex abuse violations. Aharonovich was criticized by many for his failure to instill law and order, most notably by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and by political rival Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi).

A former commander of the Border Police, Aharonovich’s only experience in corporate management was his one year (2004 to 2005) as director-general of the Dan Bus Company.

In 2009, Aharonovich was widely criticized and forced to apologize for telling an undercover police detective in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station that he looked as dirty as an “Araboosh,” the Hebrew equivalent for the N word for Arabs.


IAF Commander Wants 75 F-35 Jets, Some with Vertical Takeoff, and Home-Made Tweaking

Friday, June 24th, 2016

IAF Chief Brig. Gen. Tal Kelman, who participated on Thursday in the rollout ceremony for the first F-35 “Adir” single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighter at the Lockheed Martin factory in Dallas, sees the first 50 jets Israel will be receiving over the next few years as only a beginning. “We want to reach 75 jets,” Kelman told the IAF blog. “The Israeli F-35 is the first fifth generation fighter to arrive in the Middle East, and it will allow us to open a significant gap in our abilities when facing all of the elements in the area.”

According to Kelman, the IAF is already examining the F-35B model equipped with the ability to take off from very short runways and land vertically. “We want the first 50 jets to be A models, but beyond this, we are examining the options. The F-35B may be limited relatively to the A model regarding the amount of munitions it can carry, but has other advantages that may aid us in different scenarios.”

Courtesy Lockheed Martin

Courtesy Lockheed Martin

The “Adir” is expected to completely change the face of the IAF and introduce new abilities into the force. “A few months ago I had the privilege of flying the F-35 simulator here in Fort Worth,” Kelman related. “As a pilot that has flown a great variety of aircraft for over 30 years, I must share the feeling: It was like holding the future in my hands. The unique combination between split edge technology, lethality and amazing man-machine interface will lead the world to the fifth generation.”

“The F-35 which will be received by the IAF with open arms this coming December will substantially enhance our operational capabilities,” Kelman predicted. “The new aircraft will bring with it new strength. There is no doubt that the F-35 will become an integral part of our defense system and allow us to better ensure the safety of our civilians — against our hostile neighbors, and against the complex threats which may escalate at a moment’s notice. I don’t think that it is an exaggeration to say that the presence of the F-35 in the Middle East will change the dynamic of the region for the better.”

Courtesy Lockheed Martin

Courtesy Lockheed Martin

The Israeli F-35s will be based at Nevatim Airbase in the Negev, where the IAF is constructing its own maintenance center for the aircraft. The decision to locate them down south was based on operational, environmental, infrastructure and training considerations, as well as the IDF’s strategic vision to transfer some of its bases to the region.

Israel is the first US ally to receive the aircraft when its deliveries begin in December, and it is the only country allowed to modify the F-35, according to a report in Wired. According to Wired, Brig. Gen. Kalman has suggested that Israel’s “unique requirements” justify a degree of autonomy with the F-35. When you might go to war at any moment, Kalman argued, you can’t have your best hardware go out of service for weeks at a time for checkouts that can take just a few days on your own turf.

According to Wired, It helps that the key piece of software Israel is adding to the F-35 is a free-standing, add-on app for command, control, communications and computing. The app draws data streams from the F-35’s own open-architecture operating system in order to provide additional functionality.

As Benni Cohen, a general manager at Israel Aerospace Industries, told Wired, the app gives the air force an easy tool for adapting the F-35 to its own needs. “[Our] open-system architecture enables rapid software and hardware development cycles that will also provide more affordable modernization and support of systems over the platform’s life cycle,” Cohen said.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaf-commander-wants-75-f-35-jets-some-with-vertical-takeoff-and-home-made-tweaking/2016/06/24/

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