Defense Minister Yoav Galant on Sunday appointed former cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz to serve as chairman of the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, best known for developing the Iron Dome defense system.
The 64-year-old Steinitz served in a number of Cabinet positions between 2009-2021, including Minister of National Infrastructure, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Minister of Intelligence and Minister of Finance.
Steinitz, a Likud member since 1995, retired from politics in July.
The appointment requires vetting and approval from the Government Companies Authority. Steinitz will replace the outgoing chairman, Uzi Landau.
Rafael, which is based in Haifa, develops and produces weapons and defense technology for the Israel Defense Force and for export.
The company is best known for developing the Iron Dome, the world’s first operational system intercepting short range rockets and artillery shells, and David’s Sling, a surface-to-air defense system for longer range threats. Rafael is also developing the Iron Beam, a laser missile defense system.
Other Rafael technology includes the Spike anti-tank missile, the Trophy tank protection system and the Protector, the world’s first operational unmanned naval surface vehicle.
Israeli defense exports by Rafael, Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries soared in 2022. The surge was attributed to European countries boosting their defense budgets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.