Various Israeli technologies now available to new Gulf allies
Much has changed in global politics since the last Dubai Airshow in November 2019. On the one hand, based on the agreement of last year’s Abraham Accords, the UAE and Bahrain maintain now full diplomatic relations with Israel and therefore, for the very first time. , Israeli aviation and defense companies are represented at this year’s event.
This marks a turning point from the days when it was not considered acceptable to recognize Israel’s contributions to the industry. Now the Israeli industry can actively court new customers and partners in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia’s tacit approval for the Abrahamic accords apparently paves the way for a wider thaw in diplomatic and trade relations between Israel and the Arab states, with Morocco and Sudan already in the fold.
Ten Israeli companies are among the exhibitors at this year’s show. They include the country’s largest players in the industry, Israel Aerospace Industries (Booth 300), Rafael (Booth 310, 415) and Elbit Systems (Booth 510) and each showcases products and services from multiple divisions in Dubai.
IAI’s exhibition at the show covers its broad portfolio of technologies in the civil and defense fields. On the military side, visitors will be able to find out more about its Multi-Mission Aircraft System, the VTOL unmanned aerial system developed by the group’s subsidiary Blue Bird Aero Systems, as well as various satellites, electric optical payloads and missiles. The group will also present its expertise in cybersecurity, as well as its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability.
Following the unprecedented changes in demand for air travel brought on by the Covid pandemic, IAI’s passenger-to-cargo conversion business has flourished. The company offers several options based on Boeing’s 737 and 777 planes.
In August, it announced an agreement with Etihad’s engineering division to establish a conversion and MRO facility in Abu Dhabi. The agreement provides for conversions of the 777-300ER to be certified by the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, as well as the FAA and EASA.
“IAI is delighted to build and expand cooperation with UAE partners and other local defense providers, and to use the momentum of the Abrahamic Accords to expand levels of co-development and co-production of systems that will meet the needs of our Emirati customers and give them added value in the face of the challenges posed by the modern battlefield and the world of aviation, ”the company said in a statement about its presence in Dubai . “IAI views the UAE as a strategic partner and our cooperation will help build a safer and stronger Middle East. “
A subsidiary of IAI very present at the Dubai show is Elta Systems. The company showcases its expertise in areas such as air defense radars, special mission aircraft, airborne radars, electromagnetic intelligence and electronic warfare, as well as command, control, communication, IT systems. and intelligence.
Among the company’s most recent innovations is the ELI-4030 Drone Guard multi-sensor set developed to protect against threats from unmanned aerial systems. The equipment includes active phased array radar, jammers for communications and intelligence systems, as well as remote control and GPS / Glonass. It can accurately measure height to distinguish between land and air targets.
Rafael also exhibits a wide range of military capabilities that could be of great interest to Gulf states given regional tensions. Perhaps the most current is the Drone Dome system which detects and neutralizes hostile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), providing protection against attacks such as the July 2021 incident in which a drone, allegedly operated by the forces Iranians, damaged an oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
With its 360-degree circular coverage, Drone Dome can detect and block no-fly zone incursions by micro and nanoscale drones. According to Rafael, it can respond to threats very quickly and causes minimal collateral disruption to other air traffic in the surrounding airspace.
The RecceLite day / night electro-optical tactical reconnaissance pod for real-time image collection and data transfer is also featured in the Rafael technology portfolio. The autonomous, self-cooled multi-sensor system consists of an airborne payload, a digital data link and a ground operating station.
The multispectral Litening airborne targeting pod resulting from the partnership between Rafael and Northrop Grumman enhances the cognitive abilities of fighter pilots, enabling them to perform complex missions. The pod handles automatic threat detection, target tracking, location extraction and tracking.
Rafael’s Spike NLOS (no line-of-sight) and Spyder (python and surface-to-air derby) missile systems are also now available to the military forces of Israel’s new allies in the Gulf region. Spike, the result of a collaboration with Lockheed Martin, is a fifth-generation electro-optically guided precision weapon, while Spyder is a fast-reacting, low-level surface-to-air missile to counter attacks from aircraft, d helicopters and drones. , and precision guided munitions. Rafael is also exhibiting his BNET battlefield radio system and Imilite intelligence unit for processing and exploiting multiple input images and video data.
Other Israeli exhibitors include military avionics and electronic warfare specialist Astronautics (Stand 103), NIR-OR systems integrator (Stand 100), artificial intelligence, blockchain and cybersecurity specialist Sinbad ( Pavilion V32) and military rover system supplier UVision Air (Stand 892). The Israeli Ministry of Defense is also represented by the Directorate of International Defense Cooperation SIBAT.