Interview | IAI President and CEO, Boaz Levy

IAI’s Partnering with the DRDO Provides Expanded Opportunities to Develop Cutting-Edge Technologies Together


IAI President and CEO, Boaz LevyWith the increasing focus on indigenous R&D and production by the government of India, do you envisage a possibility of collaborating with Indian public or private sector company for design and development?

IAI is always looking for opportunities to team up with local Indian companies to support India’s self-reliance campaign and promote collaboration with the local defence ecosystem. We believe that putting the brightest minds together on mutual projects will lead to more innovative solutions and cutting-edge developments. We will be happy to find new collaborations for R&D and other sectors.


In this context, can you talk about your partnership with DRDO and what roadmap do you see in the future?

IAI has been a close friend with India for three decades and has maintained a close partnership with DRDO during this time. The DRDO’s leading role in developing advanced systems in India is admirable, and IAI’s partnering with the DRDO provides expanded opportunities to develop cutting-edge technologies together. Most prominently, IAI and DRDO jointly co-developed the MRSAM air and missile defence system, which was tested and inducted just last year. IAI looks forward to cooperating with the DRDO on future projects. We will be happy to team up for developing cutting-edge systems with local Indian companies that will ensure India’s Aatmanirbhar concept. IAI continues to work in partnership with the DRDO and looks towards future collaboration together.


What are your current programmes with Bharat Electronics Ltd?

IAI and BEL are currently working together on developing a new service and maintenance centre for air defence systems. The new centre will provide the required technical and maintenance support to the Indian defence forces, viz. the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Indian Army, who are the operators of these air defence systems.


Can you talk about your current and future programmes in India? How do you see the road ahead in your partnership with the Indian industry?

While we can’t go into details regarding specific business partnerships, we are proud to support India’s defence ecosystem, economy, and indigenous development through a number of partnerships spanning the defence and security sectors. IAI believes in working together with local vendors and companies to develop, manufacture, and support the most advanced technologies that are utilised and needed by India’s defence establishment. We seek to broaden our partnerships and increase cooperation with local companies to promote the ‘Make-in India’ campaign.


IAI has a formidable portfolio of both unmanned and counter-unmanned systems. Can you talk about the systems and technologies that you are able to export, specifically to India?

IAI offers some of the most advanced unmanned aerial systems (UAS) on the market. Specifically, IAI will be showcasing the Heron TP, Heron MK II, and WanderB VTOL during DefExpo. IAI’s leading UAS—Heron MK II, Heron TP, and Tactical Heron—have digital communication alongside SATCOM, an advanced avionics system, along with automatic landing and take-off capability and remote landing, without the need for a ground array in the landing area and with the ability to silence the moving engine and take off again without contact with the remote aircraft. The UAS have built-in automation in case of keeping human error during the operation. The system is encrypted and cyber protected. The customer receives self-maintenance capabilities at all levels of maintenance, including with automated tests. The system transports air, sea, and land in packages that also serve as assembly tools for rapid deployment.


How does the Drone Guard work? Is it a modular/ scalable programme?

ELTA’s Drone Guard is an operationally proven, multi-sensor, multi-layer C-UAS solution developed for the military and homeland security market. Military grade and rugged for all types of environments, the Drone Guard is a modular turn-key solution that covers all aspects of counter-threatening UAS. Portable, lightweight and with low power consumption, the Drone Guard is user friendly and intuitive, making it an ideal option for a wide range of users and agencies. It is a compact solution focused on drone detection and protection.


IAI has unveiled a networking cloud. As a concept, how different or similar is it to a combat cloud?

IAI’s OPAL solution enables air, land and naval forces to establish a highly scalable, robust and real-time distributed networking cloud. OPAL enables manned and unmanned platforms, to share real-time data and generate operational insights for an effective and safer joint mission performance with efficient mission control and management. OPAL serves as the infrastructure for networking connectivity, data sharing and operative actions. Using OPAL enables different entities to create a common operating picture with enhanced situational awareness as well as advanced application-based situation management.

OPAL is a software-oriented, open-architecture solution, providing low lifecycle cost with a simple introduction of new capabilities. OPAL is delivered in a variety of form factors for optimized utilization in different platforms. With OPAL, future upgrades and additional capabilities can be added without being dependent on the original manufacturer of the platform, resulting in a significant reduction in time to market and costs.


Since the Indian ministry of defence has listed radars in the Make in India list, is IAI collaborating on this with the Indian industry, especially for the Indian Army’s requirements?

IAI is always seeking to increase its cooperation with the local Indian defence industry, based on the needs of the defence requirements and needs. IAI will be showcasing a number of radars during DefExpo, highlighting the cutting-edge capabilities IAI’s radars possess.




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