Israel’s leading defense company, Elbit Systems’ is witnessing the rebound in demand for advanced systems from defense and homeland security throughout Asia, particularly in India, a trend that would benefit the company in the long term.
In the short term, the company has to overcome quite a few obstacles, among them, is penetrating the Indian unmanned systems market. While the company’s Hermes 900 has won eight sales worldwide since its introduction in 2009, it hasn’t been successful selling UAVs to India.
cooperation is part of Elbit Systems’ DNA
“India has an increasing demand for unmanned systems.” Bezhalel ‘Butzi’ Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems told Defense-Update. “We expect this market to open for more competition and are positioning here the Hermes 900 and Hermes 450, as well as mini and small UAS of the Skylark family. The versatility of those systems is highly suitable for a wide range of applications, carrying EO, SAR, maritime surveillance, electronic intelligence payloads and more.” Machlis noted, “Our unique position is in providing a full solution, integrating the platform, sensors and ground-based functions into a robust, highly integrated solution.”
Another growth area for Elbit in India is training and simulation. “We identified pilot and aircrew training as one of the growth areas for the company.” Through the years Elbit Systems developed a wide range of training systems, including range-less air-combat instrumentation (ACMI), virtual avionics, and flight and mission simulators for aircrews of manned aircraft and helicopters, as well as operators of unmanned systems” Said Machlis. The company also established and is maintaining comprehensive training centers for the Israel Air Force, and is currently offering similar facilities in India, under HALBIT – a joint venture company established with HAL.
“We expect the Indian UAV market to open for more competition”
At Aero India Elbit Systems is highlighting the SkyBreaker, a networked multi-cockpit, Mission Training Center (MTC) that supports different aircraft types, by presenting aircrews with high-fidelity, simulator-based training. providing realistic, simulated battlefield training using all aircraft systems and mission scenarios to enhance all levels of pilot training. Other solutions offered by Elbit Systems include Embedded Virtual Avionics, providing on-board system functionality simulation on trainer aircraft and EHUD ACMI system, as part of its offering for the Indian air force, navy and army aviation.
Responding to the customers’ call of ‘doing more with less’, Elbit Systems is growing its activity in the outsourcing of non-critical services. As defense forces are ‘privatising’ logistical, training and support activities to industry partners providing such services in a more affordable, Elbit Systems has developed efficient ways to introduce its services this area. “We have recently won major contracts with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), for the maintenance of F-16 avionics, and electro-optic systems; we provide full service support for the Israel Air Force flight training fleet, supporting the fleet of training helicopters, T-6B, M346 and Grob 120, aircraft which we actually own, offering flying hours on those trainers to the IAF.” Machlis noted. Under a similar program Elbit Systems also manages and operates the Israeli firefighting squadron, providing a lifesaving emergency response service covering the entire country.
The company is also won an IAF contract to establish and operate a ‘SkyBreaker’ based simulation center providing realistic training for IAF fighter pilots. “Few companies in the world are capable of integrating such expertise and offer it under one roof to the customer” Machlis claims.
Addressing the growing challenges of insurgency and terrorism, Elbit Systems is expanding its offering of homeland security, counter terror and law enforcement applications. These systems range from the MUSIC Directional Infra-Red CounterMeasures (DIRCM), addressing the growing threat of Man Portable Anti-Aircraft Missiles (MANPADS). MUSIC has been supplied to customers worldwide, including installations on VIP helicopters (AW101) and military platforms such as the Italian Air Force C-130J, C-27J, and AW101 CSAR helicopters and German A400 and Brazilian C390.
Further enhancing aircraft self-protection from advanced threats, the company also offers the compact, highly integrated ECM systems as well as the ‘IR-CENTRIC’ defensive EO/IR suite protecting system for combat aircraft and helicopters from enemy fire and missile attack. “Our Wise Intelligence Technology (WIT) is another solution, providing all source intelligence system, it has been expanded to provide solutions for military and counter terror, homeland security and law enforcement applications.” Machlis added.
Elbit Systems continues to lead in providing solutions to operational challenges, in defense, homeland security and cyber domains. In the past year Elbit Systems had quite a few achievements in this area. Among the most recent achievements were major orders for observation towers guarding the US border with Mexico and an order for a comprehensive HLS system from a country in Latin America.
“The Indian customers are very demanding, but they know what they want and appreciate technology” Machlis concluded. “We have partnerships with a number of companies, including Hindustan Aircraft, Bharat Electronics and Bharat Forge. The Indian market is growing and opening for cooperation – cooperation is part of Elbit Systems’ DNA. We understand this market and appreciate the changes. We expect the new policies to help expand those partnerships”.