Posts Tagged Rafael
Israel has had a burgeoning arms industry. The three biggest Israeli arms companies IAI, Elbit Systems, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, had orders backlogs in 2010 of $16 billion. 100,000 Israelis work in an industry that sold $7.2 billion in arms in 2010.
The World Tribune online, reports that Midroog, the Israeli credit rating industry says that international trends present challenges for the Israeli arms industry. 70% of Israelis arm production is exported.
Moog worries that with the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that orders for Israeli arms will be dropped. And that the US is encouraging US arms companies to develop new markets, in competition with Israeli companies.
(This blog post will be expanded……)
Ha’aretz reports that Iron Dome missiles have shot down eight rockets fired from Gaza, the most recent on Saturday, 9 April, 2011. Israeli forces claimed that 38 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Saturday. Apparently 70 were fired in the whole exhange.
It would appear that the rockets targeted are ‘Grad’ rockets fired at the town of Ashkelon since Iron Dome only works if it has a long lead time.
Iron Dome has been criticised for not being capable of responding to the threat of rockets because it isn’t quick enough to intercept rockets fired from nearby. Also, each Iron Dome missile costs many times the price of a rocket, so the cost of Iron Dome is very high. (BBC reports that each Iron Dome missile costs $70,000. Ynet reports that two missiles were fired to make the successful interception). In the recent exchange the cost could have been been about $1,120,000 and the rate of interception about 10%. That’s if eight rockets were intercepted as per the Ha’aretz article. Other sources only mention one rocket intercepted, which is a success rate of less than 2%.
In this light, it is possible to suggest that Iron Dome has been deployed primarily as a public relations gesture to Israeli residents, because it unrealistic to believe that the Israeli military would or could shoot down more than a small percentage of rockets. This was apparent from early in the project, yet the Israeli government continued to say that it could protect the residents of Sderot with this programme. In reality they are only able to protect further away communities like Ashkelon.
Clearly the cost of the programme is so high and the capability so limited that Israeli military cannot realistically protect the residents of Southern Israel from rocket attacks. Israelis have been sold a bill of goods and led to believe that there could be such a thing as an ‘Iron Dome’ over them.
Meanwhile an arms company has benefited from a very large contract, and the government has minimised pressure from residents.
Haaretz has recently reported that Israeli companies have sold Singapore missile defense shield technology, the ‘Iron Dome’. Haaretz reported that ‘Intelligence Online’ reported that Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had received financing for development of the Iron Dome technology in return for receiving several Iron Dome systems to deploy in Singapore. It reportedly cost $250 million to develop.
Israel and Singapore have long standing military links after Singapore asked Israel for help in developing its army after the IDF model, which was done, in the 1960’s.
As a result, Singapore has made many purchases of military equipment and technology from Israeli companies, including Hermes 450 drones from Elbit Systems, Barak surface to air missiles from IAI, naval drones from Rafael, fighter jet upgrading by an unnamed company.
Haaretz announced in January, 2010, that Iron Dome had been successfully tested and that one system was deployed. The article speculated about when additional systems would be purchased and estimated that 20 systems would required at a cost of $50 million each, or $1 billion.
There was speculation however that the Iron Dome project was developed entirely for Singapore, rather than as an offshoot of an Israeli defense project. Apparently much cheaper missile defense technology is available from an American company, the Vulcan Phalanx/Centurion cannon system supplied by Raytheon.
Was this is an issue because Israeli government financial resources were used in the development of the product, which was ultimately unneeded by the IDF? Only one system has been purchased, and there is no budget for buying more.
Or it may just be an illustration of how the IDF, government, and the Israeli arms companies work together, often in secrecy, to maximise Israeli arms sales.