Elbit Systems is conceived as a leading manufacturer of avionic systems and unmanned air systems (UAS) as its two leading lines.
But the Israeli company, with its vast international cooperation network, is also an advanced developer and manufacturer of very advanced precision weapon systems.
The growing need for such systems in today’s war scenarios spurred Elbit Systems to use all its know-how to supply those smart weapons.
The fact that the Israeli company is the sole supplier of the laser seeker that is part of the Laser JDAM used by the US Navy is only one that is the background for the accelerated effort.
The laser JDAM is a Boeing product and Elbit Systems was selected to supply the special laser sensor.
Elbit Systems is currently developing the guided advanced tactical rocket (GATR) in a joint programme with ATK.
The GATR will replace the Hellfire missile. Sources close to the programme say that the new system will cost less and will better answer the operational requirements of the asymmetric warfare currently fought around the world.
The GATR will be easily fitted to combat helicopters that are currently armed with the Hellfire missile.
The company says that it will have an effective range of 8km and, with the laser guidance, will ensure very precise hits.
The guideline in developing the GATR is embedded in other programmes that involve the development of advanced weapon systems. This guideline is to minimise collateral damage.
To go along this guideline, the Israeli company has mobilised all its know-how in the field of military optics as a general term.
A visit to the laboratories of the Elop division of Elbit Systems is sufficient to learn that it succeeded in its aim to “make them small and robust” .
The results will emerge slowly as the Israeli defence establishment will allow the company to export more such weapon systems.