Protecting offshore natural resources – local and international business

The Israeli aerospace and defence industries have identified a growing market – protecting a country’s offshore gas and oil fields.

Elbit Systems has established special facilities for the development of systems to defend such natural resources from terror attacks.

Flight visited the laboratory built at the company’s Haifa base.

The lab is equipped with computers and large screens that enable the team to demonstrate concepts of defending undersea natural resources.

The discovery of the huge gas and oil reserves in the Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) prompted the country to act immediately. Foreign sources claim the Israeli airforce (IAF) is operating Heron-1 unmanned air systems (UAS) to protect the offshore natural gas

fields from possible terrorist attacks by Hizbullah.

Hizbullah threats reached a new peak after the Israeli cabinet approved the lines of Israel’s EEZ in the Mediterranean, including the line near Lebanon.

The IAF is operating Heron-1 (Soval) UAS with maritime patrol sensors as a “subcontractor” to the Israeli navy.

The maritime Heron are operating parallel to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Westwind 1124 business jets in Seascan configuration, which has been operated since 1978.

The maritime UAS are equipped with a similar payload carried by the Seascan. This includes an Elta search radar and a Tamam stabilised long-range optical observation system.

The Heron can fly for more than 40 hours at an altitude of 30,000 feet. It can carry multiple payloads with a total weight of 250kg.

Azarel Ram, senior director of naval and maritime solutions at Elbit Systems, said the new lab enables a tailor-made solution for every sea or shore installation that needs protection.

The different solutions will include shore- and rig-based sensors, UAS, unmanned marine systems and manned aircraft with dedicated sensors.

Elbit Systems and fellow Israeli company Rafael are getting ready to compete for the Israeli programme and, at the same time, for a programme prepared currently by Brazil to protect its offshore natural resources.

Lova Drori, Rafael’s marketing vice-president, revealed that the company is already “getting ready” to compete in both places. He declined to elaborate‫,‬ but is seems Rafael will establish a local company in Brazil.

New business opportunities are out there in the seas and oceans and Israeli companies will try to gain as much of it as possible.


אלביט ים קטן.bmp 


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