IAI is making the right noises

Show: Defexpo India 2018 - Day 2 By Arpita Kala

Arms manufacturers Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are all set to move on from the past and into the future, literally. India recently lifted the “restricted procurements” designation from the company making it easier for them to obtain future contracts in the country.


In spite of being on the restricted list until recently that made business procurement a tad more complex, IAI has successfully scored many deals in India and is also participating in the ongoing Defexpo 2018.

Last year, IAI struck a deal worth $2 billion to supply Indian army and navy with missile defense systems as well as a $630 million deal for the sale of Barak 8 surface-to-air missile systems to Bharat Electronics Ltd.

The company is all set to focus on ‘Make In India’ during their India visit. According to their statement, they sell to ‘focus on solutions tailored for Indian’s specific needs, such as: remotely piloted aerial systems, special mission aircraft, state-of-the-art radars, air defense systems and military robotics solutions.’ IAI has so far cooperated closely with all branches of the Indian armed forces as well as with all DRDO labs and Indian companies (public and private) in a bid to support the government’s policy towards ‘Make in India’.


However, it’s their recent announcement of manufacturing an all-electric aircraft that is grabbing headlines, close on the heels of the innovations by Airbus and Eviation. The Israeli aviation company is reportedly planning to develop an electric airplane, who’s first prototype is planned to take to the skies in three years. Though, the details are scarce, the aircraft is touted to have a range of around 900 km with a maximum take-off weight of between 4,350 and 6,800 kg. The electric plane is also reported to have similar dimensions as the Beechcraft King Air 350.

The aerospace company also seems to amping up the drone game too. They recently inked a $1.1 billion deal with the German ministry of defence to lease unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Under the program, the five Heron-PT UAVs made by IAI will be stationed in Israel under the management of the military wing of Airbus. The UAVs are reportedly designated for intelligence missions and are also likely to be used to attack ground targets, including targeted killings at a later stage.

The UAVs are due to become available to the German army starting at the end of 2019.