'We are moving towards closing the Spike contract with the Indian Army. We are aiming for the production of an India-made Spike missile’
E.V.P Marketing and Business Development, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, Giora Katz

Giora KatzWhat is the update on the IAF’s plan to fit Rafael’s Litening electro-optic systems on to its fighter fleet? Have you supplied the equipment to the IAF already?

Litening is a combat-proven multi-spectral airborne targeting and navigation pod designed for navigation and target illumination, Litening significantly enhances day and night attack capabilities. Mounted externally to the aircraft, Litening contains advanced forward looking infrared (FLIR) and charge coupled device (CCD) sensors. The Litening pod is in operational use worldwide. Over 1,500 pods have already been sold to customers around the world. High-resolution images of the target are presented to the aircrew, with wide field of view search capability and precision acquisition and targeting. Unmatched sensor resolution enables aircrew to reliably detect and identify targets day and night, in all weather conditions and together with the combat proven Reccellite a day/night electro-optical tactical reconnaissance pod for real-time imagery collection and data transfer you may get a full sensor to shooter. As we are aware, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully operationalised Integrated Air Command and Control Systems (IACCS) to integrate all ground sensors and generate common air situation picture.

Tell us a little about your collaboration with DRDO.

Rafael considers India as a strategic partner and will continue to move towards indigenous production and development of advanced defence systems. Rafael looks to India for cooperation in the defence industry as a strategic relation. We are fully committed to support ‘Make in India’ initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have inked memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with Bharat Dynamic Limited (BDL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Astra Rafael Company (ARC), Defsys, Bharat Forge Limited and Reliance Defence and Aerospace Ltd. We always look forward to jointly developing systems with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), BEL and BDL. Most of the systems like LDPs, LRGBs and SDR would ultimately be produced in India, and we are ready for transfer of technology and FDI in Indian industry partners.

As the Indian defence industry matures, we look forward to establishing global manufacturing hubs for supply of systems abroad. For Rafael, exploitation of our R&D intensive and combat proven technology for developing Indian defence industry, while addressing the urgent operational requirements of the IAF, is a win- win situation for all.

How do you plan to support government’s ‘Make in India’ policies?

Today’s defence markets are shifting from buying complete systems from foreign suppliers (BUY) to local production of such systems (MAKE) – a trend requiring efficient capability to transfer manufacturing technologies, know-how and monitor quality assurance, all that under complex offset rules that require significant flexibility and resilience to maintain a profitable operation. Rafael is constantly seeking new partnership and joint ventures with Indian companies for cooperation that will help drive forward our mutual ability to address local needs and operational requirements.

One of our strengths is our proven experience of transfer of technology and meeting offset requirements by driving from buy to make with the local industry.


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