Israel opened a very large pavilion at the Paris Air Show at
Le Bourget this week, to show off its advanced aviation and
military wares. The show, the major exhibition of the year,
opened last Sunday.
After the inauguration of the Israeli pavilion, which is
comprised of exhibits by twenty Israeli companies, visitors
flocked to the Arrow anti-missile missile, which provides
powerful protection against ballistic missiles such as the
popular Scuds developed by North Korea and sold to many
countries including Iraq and Syria. The Arrow was developed
jointly with the U.S.
On display at the pavilion were the Arrow launcher and the
Arrow interceptor developed by IAI Electronic Group, MLM
Division, and the Green Pine early warning radar, developed
and manufactured by IAI/Elta.
Also on display were new missiles such as the Derby, a
beyond-the-horizon air-to-air missile developed by Rafael
(Israel Armament Development Authority), along with Rafael's
NTD, a new lightweight anti-tank missile.
Another premiere was the upgraded SU-25 MK Scorpion
aircraft, equipped with a new avionics suite. The upgrade
program is the result of cooperation between the TAM Company
of Georgia, U.S., and Elbit Systems of Israel. TAM is the
manufacturer of the SU-25 aircraft, more than 800 of which
have been delivered to customers worldwide. Elbit Systems is
the supplier of the Western avionics package, with advanced
displays, man-machine interface (MMI),navigation aids and
weapon delivery systems.
The Israeli companies are focusing on their ability to
upgrade aircraft and military systems. Upgrading is grabbing
a larger share in global sales, due to budgetary
difficulties around the world in procuring new military
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a General Dynamics'
subsidiary, has formed a strategic partnership with Israeli
Aircraft Industries Ltd. for the manufacture of Gulfstream's
new mid-size G100 and super mid-size G200 business jets.
Gulfstream clinched the first firm sale of passenger planes
at the 44th Paris Air Show -- a $1.25 billion order for 35
business jets by United Airlines' affiliate United BizJet
Holdings -- according to an announcement on Sunday.
IAI, wholly owned by the Israeli government, will
manufacture the jets, while Gulfstream, headquartered in
Savannah, Georgia, will install the engines, avionics and
interiors. The two companies will share revenues and
A spokesman for Gulfstream acknowledged that Gulfstream's
business with customers in Arab nations might suffer as a
result of its deal with IAI and it is therefore considering
locating a service center in the Middle East for the
aircraft it sells in the region. The site of the facility
would not be in Israel.
Israeli civilian developments were also displayed, including
police cameras for television coverage and monitoring of
traffic intersections, up-to-date and environmentally
friendly air-conditioning units, innovative packaging for
medical equipment, x-ray and photography devices, civilian
aircraft testing systems, and a camera for civilian
Israel is currently one of the ten leading global defense
system exporters with some $2.5 billion in 2000.