Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

operating in:

Also Operates in:
Belgium, Botswana, Chad, DRC, Eritrea, France, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Senegal, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago

Main Products:

Civilian Aircraft (Gulfstream G100), Military Aircraft (Kfir, Lavie), UAVs (Searcher, Scout, Pioneer) Military Air Systems (Rafael, Phyton, Phalcon, Griffin), Ground Defense Systems (AMMAD, JUMPER), Ground Transportation (Taxibot, RBY MK1), UGVs (Guardium, Sahar, Robattle), Naval Systems (Super Dvora, Dabur), Missile Systems (Arrow, Barak, Gabriel, Iron Dome, Lahat), Space Hardware (AMOS, EROS, Ofeq),

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

General Information

IAI is Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian usage. It has 15,000 employees as of 2018. IAI is completely state-owned by the government of Israel.

Established in 1953 as Bedek Aviation Company, IAI’s headquarter is as for 2020 based in Lod, Israel.

IAI designs, develops, produces, and maintains civil aircraft, drones, fighter aircraft, missiles, avionics, and space-based systems. It also manufactures military systems for ground and naval forces. Many of these products are especially suited for the Israeli Army needs, while others are also marketed to foreign militaries.

IAI is the largest aerospace & defense company and the largest industrial exporter in Israel. IAI’s Revenue stood at $3.7 Billion in 2018 with an operating income of $1.5 Billion and a net income of $315 Million. In 2019, its revenue totaled $4.1 Billion, and 74% of its sales were exports. The company suffered from low profitability, although in 2019 it switched from a loss to an operating profit of $120 Million.

In November 2020, the ministerial privatization committee approved the plan for the privatization of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Under the plan, the state will be able to sell up to 49% of the shares in IAI through a public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[1]Ministers give nod to IAI privatization

Systems that are developed and manufactured by IAI include: Unmanned air vehicles (UAV), Radars, mission aircraft and AEW aircraft, EW, ELINT/ESM, SIGINT and COMINT/COMJAM, Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missiles (ATBM), Missiles and smart weapons, Satellites, ground stations and space launchers, upgrading of military aircraft and helicopters, maintenance, and conversion of commercial aircraft, including conversion to aerial refueling. Israel Aerospace Industries also offers cyber defense, maritime, border protection, defense surveillance systems, and crisis and emergency management systems, as well as business jets and aero assemblies.

IAI is divided into 4 groups:

  • Elta Systems Group: radar, intelligence, and electronic systems.
  • Systems Missiles and Space Group: air and missile defense systems, offensive and defensive naval systems, surface-to-surface missiles, and loitering munitions.
  • Military Aircraft Group: unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
  • Aviation Group: design, integration, testing, certification, manufacturing, marketing, and product support of manned and unmanned aircraft.

Israel Aerospace Industries provided equipment used in Israel’s illegal Wall and supplied drones to Israel’s military that were used in attacks against civilians during the 2008-2009 attack on Gaza. IAI’s subsidiary provides observation systems for the Wall.[2]Execution of the Security Fence project IAI


IAI was one of the earliest developers of drone technology and launched its first surveillance drone, the IAI Scout, in 1979. Since then, the company has launched several drone models. Drone development is handled by IAI’s MALAT divisions. IAI writes on its website of its drones’ “unsurpassed track record of over 1,200,000 operational flight hours for over 50 users on five continents”.

Most of IAI’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are surveillance drones, but the  Heron 1  and  Heron TP  both have strike capabilities and have been used in Gaza. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Heron can fly up to 40 hours and can carry four Spike missiles. It is also used for surveillance and to identify targets on the ground. IAI‟s Heron UAV systems was used in the attacks on civilians condemned by Human Rights Watch as being in violation of international law.[3]Precisely Wrong Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles Drone Wars UK reported that Israel was deploying armed Heron 1 drones during the Operation Summer Rains attack in Gaza in 2006. The IAI Heron TP is Israel’s biggest drone, with a wing span of 26 metres. It was first used during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza during 2008-2009. When the Heron TP is marketed as ‘combat proven’ it means that it has been tried out on the people of Gaza with fatal consequences.[4]IAI Outlines Engines For Growth [5]Israel Unveils New Drone Fleet That Can Reach Iran

In 2022 IAI landed $1 billion in drone deals, $600m with an undisclosed country and $400m with the Israeli Ministry of Defense.[6]Israel Aerospace Industries lands $1 billion in drone deals

Drones manufactured by IAI: IAI Scout, Bird Eye 400, Mini Panther, Mosquito 1, Mosquito 1.5, Panther, Harpy, Searcher I, I-View-150, Searcher II, Searcher III, B-Hunter, Heron 1 (Shoval), Heron TP (Eitan).

Cyber Security

IAI is a developer of cybersecurity systems and heads the IC3, the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium, and IAC3, the Israeli Aviation Cyber Companies Consortium, both of which are backed by Israel’s Economy Ministry. The consortiums were set up to create comprehensive cybersecurity solutions for national defense as well as for civilian aviation.  According to IAI, the consortium, founded in 2016, aims to offer cutting-edge cyber defense technology to governments around the globe. Other members of the consortium include Israeli cybersecurity companies CyberArk, Cyber X, XM Cyber, Check Point, Mellanox, CySource and Cognyte (former Verint Systems).

In 2017, IC3 has won a contract worth “tens of millions of dollars” to set up a national cyber center in Brazil.[7]Israel cyber consortium lands multi-million dollar Latin America deal [8]IC3 – Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium to establish a National Cyber Center in Brazil

IAI offers intelligence, defense, monitoring and identification technologies to cope with cyber threats, and operates research and development centers in Singapore and Switzerland, as well as in Israel.

Subsidiaries / Acquisitions

Main Subsidiaries: IAI Elta, IAI North America (Stark Aerospace, Elta North America) , European Advanced Technology (EAT), IAI MATA Helicopters Division, IAI Malat Division, IAI MBT Missile Systems Division, IAI MLM Division, IAI Ramta Division, Malam, Mabat, Tamam, Lahav, Golan Industries, Bedek Aviation Group, Shahal, Maman, Custodio Technologies (Singapore).

IAI subsidiaries and offices worldwide: IAI India Liaison Office, IAI do Brasil Ltda, IAI Sucursal Colombia, IAI’s Seoul Liaison Office, IAI Asia Pte Ltd, IAI’s Australian Office, IAI Germany Office, IAI Russian office, IAI China office, IAI Mexico office, IAI Vietnam office.

Other acquisitions: Blue Bird Aero Systems (50%), CyVestiGo, TSG, Zibar.