Analysis: Israel's security industry

By LEAH KRAUSS, UPI Security Industry Correspondent  |  Aug. 9, 2007 at 1:18 PM
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HAIFA, Israel, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Rafael: Missile interception system in sight

Israel's short-range, rocket-based missile interception system will be up and running in a year and a half, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Thursday.

"The Iron Dome system will use the Israel Defense Forces' early warning radar system to identify short-range missiles and rockets in flight. In addition to Qassam rockets, Iron Dome is meant to protect against Hezbollah and Syria's Katyusha rockets," the newspaper reported.

According to the report, the Iron Dome system is designed to out-fly a Qassam -- which can travel up to 300 meters per second -- and intercept as high as possible to minimize the risk that biological or chemical contaminants will reach the ground below.

Rafael was recently named one of the world's top 100 defense companies by an industry publication. The system's rocket location device is made by an Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary, Elta Systems.

During 2006's Second Lebanon War, northern Israel sustained damage, injury and casualties from hundreds of Katyusha rockets every day. Intermittent Qassam fire from the Gaza Strip frequently hits the neighboring Israeli territory, including the western Negev desert and the town of Sderot, and has caused property damage, injury and death.

Elbit closes $163 million artillery and tank deal

Haifa-based Elbit Systems Ltd. this week announced a $163 million supply contract with customers in three Asian countries, to provide artillery and tank systems upgrades.

"The projects include upgrading of Fire Control and Command (and) Control systems for artillery and tank systems," the company said in a statement.

"I believe the new orders will serve as a springboard for additional orders from these customers and other customers worldwide," the firm's president and chief executive officer, Joseph Ackerman, said in the statement.

He added, "Recent land systems orders announced by the company, including the sale of turrets to Romania and Slovenia, positions Elbit Systems as one of the leading companies in the field of land systems."

"Elbit Systems' total solution concept covers the entire combat vehicle platform, from complete modernization to maintenance depots and life cycle support services. Its combat vehicle upgrades encompass all functions including mobility, fire power and survivability, incorporating fire control, turret and gun control, battle management, laser systems, thermal imagers and more," the company said.

Mofaz orders anti-theft devices for small planes

All light aircraft in Israel will be outfitted with anti-theft devices to prevent them from being used in terrorist attacks, Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz announced last week.

The ministry put out a call to various companies and other organizations for recommendations on acquiring or developing this kind of sophisticated equipment, according to a statement from Mofaz, who is also a former Israeli defense minister.

According to the ministry, the system they envision will sound an alarm in a special control room when someone tries to break the plane's locks or move the plane from its authorized position. Furthermore, the ministry statement said, the anti-theft system will use radio transmitters to communicate with the control room and will be "impossible to neutralize while the alarm is activated."

There are about 30 landing strips and airfields in Israel that are used by some 660 private planes, the Transportation Ministry said.

Acro Inc. lands deal to supply 300 peroxide explosive testers to U.S. Army

Caesaria- and New York-based Acro Inc. last week scored a deal to supply "pen-like tester(s) that can identify peroxide-based explosives, such as Triacetone Triperoxide," according to a company statement. Acro added that these testers are the first of their kind.

Such explosives "may appear in a variety of shapes and forms, including liquid explosives. Peroxide-based explosives are almost impossible to identify, since they do not contain nitro groups and are colorless," the company said.

Furthermore, the company said, terrorist use of this kind of bomb is on the rise: "Such peroxide-based explosives can be easily home-made using inexpensive, readily available starting materials ... purchased in most hardware and paint stores, even in bulk quantities."

The firm counts K. Barry Sharpless, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, among its advisory board members.

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