LE BOURGET, France, June 18, 2003. The war in Iraq may have contributed to almost 200 fewer US exhibitors at the Paris Air Show this week but Israel,
America's main ally in the Middle East, is here in full force. There are 26 Israeli companies exhibiting at the Paris Air Show this week, selling a wide range of weaponry, hardware, software, subsystems and components.
Ironically, the US occupation of Iraq has hit Israel's military contractors hard. The elimination of Iraq means the Israeli defense industry--which posted a record $4 billion in revenues in 2002--can finally afford to downsize. Some Israeli sources say domestic military budgets will decline as much as 10% this fall, forcing local military contractors to increase exports to ride out the downturn.
So, even as the week-long Paris Air Show winds down this weekend, many Israeli contractors already gearing up to exhibit at Asian Aerospace, the next big air show. Asian Aerospace, a pan-Asian event, will take place in Singapore next February. Elbit Systems and its Silver Air subsidiary, which showed off its unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) in Paris this week, has already announced plans to exhibit presumably upgraded products at the Singapore show next year
Other Israeli military and aerospace electronics companies exhibiting military products at the Paris Air Show this week included:
- Tadiran Communications, which showcased an integrated radio communication system to link air, ground and naval forces; a ruggedized personal digital assistant with built-in GPS, wireless LAN and Bluetooth capabilities; and an air traffic control communications system for ground-to-air and air-to-ground communications.
- Motorola Israel, which displayed a new Perimeter Surveillance Radar System to detect walking or crawling assailants for homeland security applications.
- Two Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. divisions, including the MALAT Division, which unveiled its I-View Close Range Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system, and Elta Systems, which demonstrated multi-mission equipment installed on a Boeing 737 aircraft for signal intelligence, tactical electronic support, image intelligence, maritime patrol surveillance, and airborne early warning and control.
- Nir-Or Ltd, a first-time Paris Air Show exhibitor, which exhibited multi-functional displays, smart active matrix LCD displays, ruggedized displays and displays with built-in digital recorders.
Al Furst, Contributing Editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics