Rafael CEO: Israeli Firm Plans US Expansion EXCLUSIVE – Breaking Defense

TEL AVIV: Israeli defense company Rafael will enhance its presence in the US by increasing the capability of existing subsidiaries and creating fully owned American companies, CEO, Yoav Har-Even tells Breaking Defense. (In a bit of serendipity, the first of Rafael’s Iron Dome anti-missile systems was delivered today to the US Army.)

To cope with the formidable challenges of US arms exports laws, the company will ensure that, “some of our advanced systems will be fully Americanized to allow the US forces to use them without any restriction.” Har-Even says. The retired major general served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), ending his service as head of the Operations Directorate.

Iron Dome anti-missile system Credit: Rafael

The new expansion plan is aimed not only to overcome the gradual decrease in the portion of the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) fund that can be exchanged for Israeli local currency, but also to increase US sales.  “We plan to enhance this activity because the Israeli defense budget will have less local currency, but also to open new markets in the US for our systems,” Har-Even said.

The CEO noted that in almost all cases the US will buy weapons only from an American company.

“We have already established one such