Interview | Executive Vice President, Israel Aerospace Industries, Yehuda Lahav

Our Products are Not Only at The Forefront of Technology, But Each Time Redefine The Highest Standard Of The Market

Executive Vice President, Israel Aerospace Industries,Yehuda LahavThe Paris Air Show 2023 was special to IAI as it coincided with its 70th anniversary. How did this milestone translate into your exhibits at the show?

We were happy to take part again in the Paris Air Show, which represented a unique opportunity to display and present our many products. This year, we marked 70 years since the company was first founded and 75 years since the State of Israel was established—both are exciting milestones. We reflect on our rich history and look forward to the next 70 years as IAI continues to lead the defence and security, aviation and space sectors.


Are there any further technological upgrades on Harop which has both artificial and human intelligence embedded in it? In what time frame will HALE and MALE drones with full AI onboard to including sensors, processors and payload be available?

IAI is one of the leading companies in the world in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles in particular and in the fields of defense, aviation and space in general. As always, our products are not only at the forefront of technology, but each time redefine the highest standard of the market.


Please provide technological insights into multi-sensor multi mission radar system and how it will contribute to closing the kill-chain early?

MMR is one of the world’s most operational radar systems providing high-quality aerial situational awareness. As of today, 200 MMR radar systems have been sold worldwide, and integrated into air-defense systems such as Barak, David’s Sling and Iron Dome. It uses an advanced 4-full Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) to detect, track and classify a variety of targets, including low-flying aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars. Over the last decade, new types of aerial threats have emerged due to the advancement of low RCS (Radar Cross Section) stealth technology. Platforms such as drones and UAVs, tactical aerial weapons, cruise missiles, and ballistic rockets and missiles have all created new challenges to Air Defense and Surveillance systems. This created a demand for ASP systems to provide higher accuracy, faster update rates and upgraded identification of aerial threats while increasing the need for survivability in the modern battlefield.


What anti-missile capabilities does Arrow 3 have?

The Arrow Weapon System is a national multi-tier, Anti-Theater Ballistic Missile Defense system. It surveils, detects, tracks, engages, kills and assesses incoming TBMs. An added benefit is that it is modular, with a large defense footprint and is easily transportable.

The system, developed for the Israeli Air Force by the MLM Division of IAI, has been operational since 2000 and serves as a key component in Israel’s defense architecture. The Arrow 3 is considered a significant technological achievement and the most advanced combat-proven anti-missile system in the world.


What are special mission aircraft and what role will they play in combat and combat support missions?

Special mission aircraft are modified civilian or military aircraft that are used for specialised purposes. They can be used for a variety of missions, including intelligence gathering, surveillance, electronic warfare, and refueling. IAI’s ELTA division is one of a select few companies that has the technological capabilities to develop and produce the mission sensors and equipment, and to provide system integration in-house. We offer four lines of special mission aircrafts:

  • The AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) aircraft utilizes AESA radar and IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe), SIGINT and communication systems to generate and disseminate an Air and Maritime Situational Picture. It also contains an Air Battle Management and Strike Aircraft Guidance System. ELTA’s CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) aircraft is fitted with a dual-band AESA radar providing complete uncompromised 360 degree azimuthal coverage and is an example of a leading in-class system based on a business jet. IAI has entered into cooperation agreements with Airbus and Embraer to develop and market additional AEW&C aircraft variants.
  • The AGS (Air to Ground Surveillance) aircraft uses advanced AESA SAR/GMTI radar, SIGINT and EO/IR sensors and an Intelligence Management System to cover large areas, providing real-time detection, identification, tracking and distribution of surface targets from standoff range in all weather and visibility conditions. IAI’s MARS2 is a leader in this category and includes a breakthrough Digital AESA SAR/GMTI radar and latest generation SIGINT integrated with an advanced Multi-INT system, carried by a high-performance business jet.
  • The MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) is equipped with high-performance AESA radar, SIGINT and EO/IR sensors to create an up-to-date maritime picture during search-and-rescue missions, maritime patrolling, environmental monitoring, Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) in support of Naval and Coast Guard operations. IAI-ELTA’s MPAs are based on business jets and turboprop platforms featuring the world leader combat-proven ELM-2022 radar family, serving in many countries on all continents.
  • The SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) aircraft monitors the electromagnetic spectrum to detect and accurately locate emitter arrays and communication networks, creating a complete Electromagnetic Order of Battle over the entire large arena of interest. IAI’s ELTA has developed and provided the most advanced SIGINT aircraft to the Israel Defense Forces on business jet platforms and supplied airborne SIGINT systems to many Special Mission Aircraft around the world.


Taking the MRSAM experience forward, do you see any future opportunities for joint R&D with DRDO?

For the past 30 years, IAI has built close partnerships in India developing and providing various strategic platforms, including air and missile defense systems, unmanned aerial systems, satellites, radars, training platforms, and others. IAI’s state-of-the-art systems and technologies have been in operational use in India’s three military divisions and other government agencies. Additionally, IAI works closely with the Indian armed forces to develop and produce advanced technologies in the air, land, and naval arenas.



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