Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that if elected he would work with the Trump administration to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank, starting with the Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, the White House said it would release its proposed Middle East peace plan on September 18, the day after the Israeli election.
Rafael finalized a deal to acquire a 50 percent stake in Israeli drone manufacturer Aeronautics Limited for $240 million. Executives at Rafael hope that their portfolio of sensors and munitions payloads will complement Aeonautic’s drones to create an integrated solution for customers. Aeronautics has business relationships with more than 50 countries.
Rafael also bought a 50 percent stake in a Kanfit, an aerospace engineering firm that designs and makes high tech drone components and subassemblies. The firm will become a subsidiary of Rafael with its offices headquartered in Migdal HaEmek.
Foreign Military Sales
A new report suggests that U.S. firms spent more than $500 million last year acquiring parts for the F-35. The Israeli Defense Ministry expects up to $2 billion in sales for the fifth-generation fighter by the end of 2019.
Elbit announced the establishment of a Swiss subsidiary. Located in the capital, Berne, the office will increase collaboration with Swiss technology firms and boost the company’s presence in Europe.
The Pentagon awarded Rafael a $13.3 million contract to test and support TopLite electro-optical sights for the U.S. Navy. The sensor array enables weapons detection and surveillance on a wide variety of naval platforms.
The U.S. Army conducted its second successful test of a new Spike non-line-of-sight (NLOS) anti-tank missile, according to Defense News. The system, made by Rafael, allows a helicopter, such as the AH-64 Apache, to engage with a tank or other ground target beyond the horizon.
Israeli Military Technology
Israeli Aerospace Industries will begin test flights of its T-Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in March 2020. The new variant of the Heron includes a new engine and is designed to offer closer tactical support to ground forces during operations.
A joint venture between Rafael and India’s Astra Microwave opened a new manufacturing facility near Hyderabad. Astra Rafael Communication System will help India indigenously produce software-defined radios for the Indian Air Force.