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IAI, Israel’s premier aerospace and defense company, is increasingly prominent in the European defense market. With its extensive technology base and vast operational experience, IAI provides a wide range of solutions for countries seeking to strengthen their defense capabilities in response to evolving geopolitical realities.

In recent years, Europe has emerged as a key market for Israeli defense exports, with IAI acting as a prime contractor, subcontractor, and provider of major subsystems in direct and government-to-government (G2G) sales. In this leadership position, IAI has supported European efforts to establish national air defense radar networks, operate spy satellites and airborne surveillance aircraft, and develop advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). Combined with information fusion and advanced artificial intelligence techniques, IAI’s multi-domain intelligence-gathering capabilities provide a strategic pillar in national defense. IAI has also provided missile systems, including anti-ship missiles for naval and coastal defense operations and loitering and missiles for use as deterrent weapons for long-range precision strikes.

Several European countries have leased IAI’s HERON and HERON-TP unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for regional and international surveillance and maritime patrol missions. IAI’s diverse range of solutions positions the company well to meet the future defense needs of European nations as they adapt to new challenges. Following are some of these activities:

Air Defense: A key priority for many European countries is enhancing their Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities. IAI’s Arrow-3 exoatmospheric ballistic missile interceptor is critical for providing the top-tier defense layer to intercept ballistic missiles in space, far from their targets. This new capability establishes a multi-layered defense capability that efficiently intercepts targets from short range to outer space. Germany’s European Sky Shield Initiative seeks such an air and missile defense system through the joint acquisition of equipment and missiles. Hensoldt, in partnership with IAI/Elta Systems, is implementing new radar systems to extend Germany’s air defense network with missile defense capabilities. IAI’s BARAK-MX air defense system is crucial for mid-layer protection, offering extended range coverage and networked capabilities. This allows different BARAK-MX assets to operate as a cohesive air defense network or autonomously, providing agile defense against all air threats, including aircraft, ballistic, cruise, and loitering missiles. Using the different interceptors employed with BARAK MX, users can match an optimal interceptor to each target, enabling the air defense systems to use the most efficient battle economy.

BARAK MX Launcher (Photo: IAI)

UAS: Recent conflicts underscore the importance of UASs as essential weapon systems. IAI’s Heron family of Medium Altitude Long Endurance platforms – including the Heron Mk I, Heron Mk II, T-Heron, and Heron TP – feature fully autonomous operation, comprehensive mission payloads, advanced mission control, and satellite communications for long-range operation and remote basing. The Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capable ThunderB and WanderB series mini UAS systems provide similar capabilities for the tactical level.

Loitering Missiles: IAI pioneered loitering weapons in the late 1990s and now offers a range of options, from fully autonomous air-defense suppression weapons to strategic long-range strike, precision missiles for land and naval targets, and tactical “hybrid missiles” operated by individual soldiers.

Autonomy: Using advanced tool kits developed in-house, IAI tailors unique, mission-specific solutions addressing user requirements. Autonomous land and sea platforms are being developed to perform scout missions, secure borders, transport supplies, evacuate casualties, and reduce the burden on soldiers. These systems are being tested in the UK and garner interest from other countries.

Counter-UAS: The increasing reliance on unmanned systems necessitates effective C-UAS capabilities. IAI’s Drone Guard system can detect, track, and engage enemy drones .

Modernization: IAI has extensive experience in modernizing and upgrading combat systems, aircraft, and helicopters, from airframe life extension to comprehensive avionic upgrades.

Information and Networking: Among the advanced capabilities that can be added to combat aircraft and other platforms is the network-centric OPAL, providing a secure and encrypted information network enabling information-based multi-domain operations in real time.

IAI’s growing presence in the European defense market reflects the company’s capacity to address the region’s evolving military challenges. As European nations work to enhance their defense capabilities in response to emerging military concerns, IAI’s vast array of solutions will continue to play a vital role in strengthening Europe’s defense posture for the 21st century.