In Interview with Brig.Gen (Ret.) Eli Raiter, the Fire Power Division General Manager and the Head of the Advanced Artillery & Missile Systems business unit at Israel Military Industries (IMI) Systems, MT correspondent Robert Czulda learned about the company's vision, its involvement in Poland, and future.
Could you please elaborate on IMI’s vision and its place within the Israeli defence industry?
E. Raiter: IMI Systems' overall vision is to be and stay a world-class leading defence company, providing cutting edge end-to-end combat-proven solutions for land, air, naval and Home Land Security (HLS) applications. To this end, IMI Systems always seeks to cooperate with local industry in each of our current and future markets.
Regarding artillery rocket and missile systems, IMI Systems is the leading company in Israel in the field of accurate while affordable rockets and missiles. In this field, we are actually positioned among the select few world's leading defence companies.
We are striving to strengthen this position in the coming years by continued R&D investments in advanced technologies aimed at meeting current and future battlefield requirements of advanced armies worldwide.
More specifically, we always design our systems with an eye towards the future, meaning they should not only be suitable for current battlefield needs but also should harbour the capability of allowing relatively easy upgrades to meet future demands. To this end, we assigned a dedicated R&D team that researches upcoming and future requirements and accordingly assists in the development of the next generation of artillery missile systems already today.
What kind of products are available in your portfolio?
E. Raiter: Our Advanced Artillery & Missile Systems business unit is engaged in the design, development and manufacturing of a wide range of artillery rocket and missile weapon systems for the global market, offering end-to-end solutions and upgrades for existing systems. Our flagship products and services include artillery rocket and missile systems, target rockets, TCS (Trajectory Correction Systems) for enhancing artillery rockets, artillery rocket systems upgrades and state-of-the-art artillery ammunitions.
We also design, manufacture and upgrade artillery ammunition and rocket based systems, from artillery tube ammunition through free-flight artillery rockets to full missile systems, including launch systems and command and control systems.
IMI Systems is the main supplier of artillery rocket and missile systems to the Israel Defence Forces, and many of the Artillery business unit's products, including thousands of artillery rockets and hundreds of thousands of artillery ammunition rounds, have been delivered to our customers around the world.
Are your technologies, indigenous or licensed?
E. Raiter: IMI Systems developed and owns the full IP rights for its rocket and missile system technologies. All that is required for us to do is obtain relevant marketing and export licenses from the Israeli authorities, which in the case of Poland have been secured.
What are the key products or services you promote for the Polish requirements?
Just recently IMI Systems offered the Polish Ministry of National Defence an innovative artillery missile solution consisting of the LYNX artillery rocket and missile system tailored to Polish specific requirements, along with various types of advanced artillery missiles. Different configurations of this solution have been already supplied to other customers worldwide.
The "Polish LYNX" is a cost-effective autonomous multipurpose artillery rocket and missile launching system, which is capable of automatically firing various artillery rockets and tactical missiles with different types of calibres and warheads to different ranges from the same platform.
In tandem with the LYNX system and in order to fully utilize the system's capabilities, IMI Systems has offered Poland to procure our EXTRA missile. The EXTRA accurate missile has an effective range of 30-150 km, a 120 kg payload and is extremely accurate with a CEP of less than 10m, hence it can engage a wide range of high-payoff targets.
Furthermore, we offered Poland our Predator Hawk missile, which is a long range tactical missile with a range of up to 300 km and high precision and manoeuvrability. Its aerodynamic principles and sub-systems are identical to those of the EXTRA, except for the rocket motor and the payload.
How do you deal with the countries that require offset, such as Poland? Do you offer transfer of technology?
E. Raiter: Customers who choose to work with IMI Systems enjoy our well-known business strategy of sharing technologies, working procedures, manufacturing cooperation and transferring adequate know-how with local industry, which is always available and welcome.
Consequently, we have offered to collaborate with the Polish industry on the production of any of IMI Systems launchers and missiles to be purchased by the Polish administration. Such cooperation holds the potential to create hundreds or thousands of jobs for Polish citizens.
What key products are you promoting during MSPO 2016?
E. Raiter: During the exhibition we present a wide range of innovative products developed by IMI Systems for a variety of areas. In the field of artillery, we will introduce the above-mentioned long-range precision rockets and missiles: Accular12, EXTRA and the Predator Hawk along with the TRIGON Naval rocket / missile sea-to-shore launcher solution, the Super High-Explosive (S-HE) 155mm M454 artillery projectile and the Uni-Modular charge systems.
In the aerial field, we will present the MPR-500 bomb designed to hit hidden targets inside buildings while preventing collateral damage, as well as the exclusive IMI systems multi-spectral flares designed to encounter complex, sophisticated anti-aircraft threats in variety of battleground scenarios.
As part of the product line we offer to the infantry and armour field, we will introduce our 120 mm accurate mortar shell series, as well as the unique M339 HE-MP-T multi-purpose tank round aimed against infantry, fortifications, and armoured vehicles by changing fuse setting. We will also present the "Red Sky" short-range air defence system designed to intercept aerial targets in an automated manner, using autonomic capabilities of scanning, tracking and dispatching.
We will also present our innovative for solutions Home Land Security (HLS) – a rising need in the fight against terror.