Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Elbit, Elettronica to develop anti-missile system
(Reuters) - Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT.TA) said on Wednesday its Elop unit and Italy's Elettronica SpA have agreed to jointly develop systems to protect helicopters and wide-bodied aicraft from low-altitude attack by shoulder-mounted, heat-seeking missiles.
The agreement builds on the experience of both companies in infra-red countermeasures. Elettronica was an early pioneer in the field, beginning in the 1980s.
Elop provides electro-optic digital technologies for military and space applications.
The Direct Infra-Red Counter-Measures (DIRCM) systems are intended to protect helicopters and larger aircraft during their take-off and landing.
Elettronica and Elop will jointly offer defence systems based on "MUSIC", the world's most advanced laser-based DIRCM protection system, Elbit (ESLT.O) said in a statement.
The system can operate with most types of Missile Approach Warning Systems.
The two companies will offer systems based on the technology for both military and civilian use. Marketing has already begun, with early deliveries expected by the end of 2008.
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Elbit Systems Ltd. is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide.
Elbit Systems is traded on NASDAQ as well as on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange where it is a constitute of the TA-25 Index of leading shares; however, as of 2010 over 45% of its stock is owned or controlled by Michael Federmann, who serves as the company's Chairman of the Board.
Early years – A division within Elron
Elbit Systems was founded in 1966 by Elron Electronic Industries (TASE: ELRN), which combined the existing expertise within the Israel Ministry of Defense-Research Institute in special computer design with Elron's experience in electronic product design, manufacture and management (initially under the name Elbit Computers). Elbit steadily expanded developing and producing logistic-support weapon delivery and navigation systems for most Israeli aircraft, establishing a combat avionics package for the IAI Lavi fighter aircraft, and producing a fire-control system for the Merkava tank.
1996 IPO on NASDAQ
In 1996, Elbit spun off into three independent companies:
Elbit Medical Imaging NASDAQ: EMITF - During 1999 to 2000 Elscint (Another affiliate of Elron) and Elbit Medical Imaging sold their imaging activities to General Electric Medical Systems and to Picker (now part of Philips Medical Systems) for approximately $600 million.
Elbit Systems – Created as the defence electronics arm of Elbit, the company had an Initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock market and finished its first day of trading at a price of $7.75 (on 25 August 2009 it reach an all time high of $70.69).
Elbit - which focused on communications activities and in 1999 led the consortium that founded Partner Communications Company Ltd., Israel's first GSM operator NASDAQ: PTNR. In 2002 Elbit was merged into Elron. Elron sold its shares in Partner during 2003-2006 for approximately $160 million.
Merger with El-Op
In 2000 Elbit Systems merged with El-Op (a company controlled by the current Chairman, Michael Federmann), creating the largest non governmental defense electronics company in Israel and increasing Elbit Systems' value which later in 2004 enabled Elron to sell its shares in Elbit Systems for approximately $200 million. Following the merger with El-Op, Michael Federmann became the largest shareholder in the combined group.
 Growth by acquisition
Following the merger with El-Op, Michael Federmann and CEO Joseph Ackerman led an aggressive growth by acquisitions strategy. The company acquired companies, including:
- Elisra (70% ownership)
- Tadiran Communications
- Shiron Satellite Communications
- BVR Systems
- Assets of Israel Military Industries’ Aircraft Systems Division
- Innovative Concepts, Inc.
- Mikal Ltd (the company initially purchased 19% of the firm, and later agreed to acquire Mikal's 100% holdings in Soltam Systems and Saymar and the 87.85% portion of ITL held by Mikal, in exchange Mikal's owners received the 19% of Mikal that Elbit had purchased) Elbit subsequently announced a cash tender offer for the 12.15% remainder of ITL held by the public.
Elbit Systems Gets Contract Valued at About $18 Mln
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Elbit Systems (ESLT) announced it was awarded an approximately $18 million contract, for the supply of an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation system for an Asian air force.
The contract is a follow-on order that calls for the supply of two additional complete systems (static and mobile) to be used for real-time, autonomous air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training and debriefing. The new systems will feature interoperability with an existing Elbit Systems' training system that the customer is already operating. The contract will be performed over the next two years.