Budget concerns may force IAF to extend outsourcing

Outsourcing in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) will expand to areas that have so far been considered “off limits” for such a business arrangement.

Budget restrictions, which may become even more severe in the first quarter of 2013, may push the IAF to consider more outsourcing.

There were signs during 2012 that this was going to happen but now, with the deficit in the Israeli national budget reaching a point where something drastic must be done, such a move is looming.

Outsourcing in the IAF is a fact, but a very limited one. The arrangement works and the best proof is renewed contracts.

Only recently Elbit Systems was awarded two follow-on contracts by the Israeli Ministry of Defense for the operation and maintenance of the IAF Flight Academy trainer aircraft and helicopters.

According to this follow-on contract, Elbit will provide full logistics and maintenance services on a basis of “power by the hour” for the Bell 206 “Sayfan” and operational level maintenance for Cobra AH-1A “Tzefa” helicopters.

According to the second follow-on contract, Elbit will supply maintenance services for the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 “Efroni” trainer aircraft. Both contracts will enter into effect during 2014, following completion of the previous deals.

Elbit has been providing the IAF with maintenance services for its training aircraft and helicopters since 2002.

The question is whether this arrangement may be expanded to more critical systems. In the IAF there is a “traditional” opposition. But the reality may overcome even such an obstacle.

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