EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW / IAI
IAI is Israel’s largest government-owned company in the fields of defence, aviation, aerospace, intelligence and cyber, and stands in line with world leaders in these fields. IAI’s advantages over other companies are first and foremost its ability to be flexible and tailor its systems to different customers according to their differing needs. In an Exclusive interview, the new IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy, details their existing footprint and future plans for India
SP's ShowNews (SP’s): What all will be the exhibits during Aero India 2021 for?
Boaz Levy (Levy): At Aero India 2021, IAI will present some of the latest and most advanced defence solutions, featuring the latest technologies in military aviation, air defence and missiles systems, unmanned systems, special mission aircraft, radars and cyber technology. Among the systems on display are Heron TP, the largest platform in IAI’s family of advanced unmanned aerial systems (UAS), Maritime Heron and VTOL UAVs family by BlueBird. In addition, we’ll display satellites, radars, both strategic and tactical, loitering munitions systems, EO surveillance systems, advanced avionic upgrades and many more systems.
SP’s: What are the new offerings you propose to show case at this edition of Aero India, and you would like to aptly elaborate on the same?
Levy: IAI offers its Indian partners advanced ground, air, and marine systems, including long-range air defence, the Heron TP UAV, loitering and precision ammunition and is preparing for industrial collaborations with State-owned and private companies. In addition we are prepared with our Multi Mission Tanker Transport (refueling aircraft) to answer all the needs of our Indian partners.
SP’s: Would you like to comment and elaborate on – a: As to how your solutions have edge over the competitions and b: As to why they are the best suited options to be considered?
Levy: IAI is Israel’s largest government-owned company in the fields of defence, aviation, aerospace, intelligence and cyber and stands in line with world leaders in these fields. IAI’s advantages over other companies are first and foremost in its ability to be flexible and tailor its systems to different customers according to their differing needs. Secondly, IAI’s systems are combat-proven. Finally, we have experience in cooperating with local vendors and bringing added value to a local ecosystem, according to the ‘Make in India’ policy.
SP’s: Indian Government initiatives:
Levy: IAI has $2 billion worth of business partnerships with Indian companies as part of India’s Make in India Policy. For years, IAI has developed and manufactured a range of technologies in India in collaboration with local vendors and implemented the ‘Make in India’ policy even before its official launch by the Indian government. In the recent decade, IAI entered to more and more strategic collaborations with local Indian firms, both PSU and private. Two of them with BEL and HAL were signed last year.
SP’s: Would you like to speak about some of your key partnerships in India in terms of industrial partnership and in terms of development partnership?
Levy: Over the past year IAI entered more and more strategic collaborations with local Indian firms, both PSU and private. Two of them with BEL and HAL were signed last year.
Another project is the MRSAM. MRSAM is an advanced, groundbreaking airand missile-defence system, jointly developed by IAI and DRDO for the Indian Armed Forces. During development, IAI collaborated with Israeli and Indian industries, including Rafael, Tata, BEL, L&T, BDL and many other private vendors. The system provides the ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms. It is used by the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army, , the Indian Navy and the Israeli Defense Force. The system incorporates an advanced phased array radar (MF-STAR or digital MMR), a command and control center, mobile launchers and interceptors and an advanced RF seeker.
SP’s: Do you propose to offer any solutions on the front of MRO? Is it military and civil both? What’s the road map?
Levy: IAI has MRO capabilities since its establishment in both the military and civilian spheres. Beyond this, IAI is Israel’s home of aviation and deals also in aircraft upgrade, maintenance and more. We will be happy to join the MRO world in India, and are examining some possible partnerships.
SP’s: Do you have any offering in the field of space and if so, would you like to elaborate a little?
Levy: IAI, the National Space House of Israel, is a one-stop-shop for cost-effective small to medium size satellites. With about 40 years of experience in space technologies, IAI focuses on space systems for national security, scientific or research satellites and commercial applications:
IAI implements its extensive experience in space technologies, along with a new approach to outer space. Dozens of satellites have been launched successfully and are performing with excellent results, providing services to users in Israel and abroad. IAI works closely with its customers to enable efficient solutions, according to their special needs and budget constraints. IAI is ready to explore further modes of cooperation with potential customers and partners. The company has a proven record in conducting a full space project cycle – starting from definition-of-mission requirements, through design, manufacturing, integration, launch-testing and in-orbit delivery.
IAI and the Israeli MOD have recently successfully launched the “Ofek 16” reconnaissance satellite into space and delivered it the IDF for operational use. “Ofek 16” is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities. Its development was enabled by the experience gained by the defence establishment in the production of earlier satellites in the Ofek series, which have been produced and launched since 1988. The satellite was launched aboard the “Shavit” launcher.