There is a lot to cooperate on with Gulf countries, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ariel Karo, Rafael executive vice president of business development and marketing told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference on Tuesday.
“We are proud to be part of Israeli activity to strengthen the relationship between Israel and regional countries. We have the same threats and same potential enemies, and there is a lot to cooperate on,” he said.
“We can offer the highest technology,” Karo said, adding that the company wants to increase its portfolio of products.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of hi-tech defense systems for a variety of purposes. Their products include air-defense systems, such as the Iron Dome, missiles like the SPIKE family of missiles, electronic warfare, guided weapons and more.
The state-owned company is also a pioneer in the world of artificial intelligence and energy weapons, Karo said.
“AI lets us transform the operator from a hard worker into a decision-maker,” he said.
AI technology also increases the effectiveness of all Rafael products, such as the Iron Dome, he added.
The US Army purchased two Iron Dome batteries, both of which were recently deployed to Guam to test the system’s capabilities and further train and refine the deployment capabilities of air defenders.
According to past reports, Saudi Arabia reached out to Israel about the possibility of procuring the Iron Dome missile-defense system after the Americans removed its Patriot batteries, upon which the kingdom had long relied.
There have also been reports that lightning pods manufactured by Rafael were also installed on fighter jets belonging to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The exportation of all products to foreign buyers is regulated by the Defense Ministry.
Karo told the conference that despite the difficulties felt by the company due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the past year has been “one of the best years ever for Rafael.”
Though some activity was changed due to restrictions imposed on the country and across the world due to the pandemic, the company increased the use of the digital and virtual world as well as its localized footprint with companies worldwide.
In late September, the Czech Republic signed a deal with Rafael worth $630 million for four Spyder short-range air-defense system batteries to replace their obsolete Soviet-made weapons.
A leader in defense, the world has for many years looked to the Jewish state for security and intelligence.
SIBAT, the military exports unit of Israel’s Defense Ministry, said in June that despite a challenging year marked by the global coronavirus pandemic, military exports brought in $8.3 billion in defense export contracts last year.
The amount was a 15% increase in the number of agreements signed as compared to $7.2 b. in 2019 and is the second-highest figure after 2017's record $9.3 b.