Despite defense spending cuts, the IDF is continuing its procurements. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) has won a contract to supply the Israel Navy with three Super Dvora Mark III patrol boats. Experts today estimated the contract at several tens of millions of shekels.
This is a follow-on contract signed between IAI and the Ministry of Defense in 2006, under which IAI's Ramta plant in Beersheva, and which has 350 employees, built four Super Dvora patrol boats. That contract was completed in 2010, when IAI delivered the fourth boat to the Navy. It was preceded by a bigger contract in 2001, in which IAI supplied six patrol boats to the Navy.
The Navy uses the Super Dvora Mark III for routine operations, protecting Israel's territorial waters, combat, anti-smuggling, anti-terrorism, and anti-infiltration operations, and protecting Israel's economic interests in the Mediterranean.
IAI said today that the Super Dvora Mk 3 was the fourth generation of its type and was developed in close cooperation between IAI and the Israeli Navy using lessons learned on combat operations. The combat vessel includes an advanced propulsion system to allow evasive maneuvering and comes equipped with a variety of combat, detection, defense, and attack capabilities.
Notwithstanding the new patrol boats' participation in protecting Israel's natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean, they are not intended to provide a full response to the developing security challenge. Sources familiar with the mission say that this defense involves the continuous presence of larger naval ships at a distance from Israel's coastline.
Ramta manager Brig.-Gen. (res.) Nitzan Shaked told "Globes" that if the right raw materials were found, it would be possible to deliver the first patrol boat to the Navy within a year, and two more every three months. He said that, except for the patrol boat's engines, which are produced in the US by Germany's MTU Aero Engines AG (DAX: MTU), all the boats' systems were developed by Israeli companies. These systems include the Typhoon cannon built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.; communications systems built by Orbit Technologies Ltd. (TASE:ORBI); and command and control systems developed by the Navy.
IAI CEO Joseph Weiss said, "This contract consolidates IAI's standing as the leading company in the world for the building of patrol boats for missions that require good operational capabilities and high reliability."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 29, 2013
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