Elbit Systems, a “multi-domestic” company

It was symbolic that almost at the same time Joseph Ackerman – the man who made Elbit Systems a “multi-domestic” company – left his position, the Israeli company gained another foothold in the industry.

Last week, a few days before Ackerman’s farewell party, Elbit signed another cooperation agreement – this time in South Korea.

It was Ackerman’s vision of the “multi-domestic” concept that led the largest Israeli public defense contractor to its peak.

Ackerman (63), began his career at the company in 1982, and has served in various managerial positions at Elbit Systems, including 16 years as the company’s president and chief executive.

Under his leadership the company positioned itself as one of the leaders in the worldwide defence and aerospace industry.  The agreement in South Korea is part of the strategy Ackerman designed.

The Israeli company has established Sharp Elbit Systems Aerospace (SESA) – a jointly owned company in South Korea – with Sharp Aviation K.

Elbit Systems will own 19% of the firm, with an option to increase to 50% ownership.

SESA will operate in Ansan, and among other capabilities will offer maintenance, repair and manufacture of advanced military aircraft avionics.

It will also encapsulate research and development of systems and avionics for both existing and future projects, such as the Korean Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) and the Korean Future Fighter (KFX) development projects.

Contracts currently operated by Sharp Aviation K will be transferred to SESA as part of the transaction.

As a Korean company, SESA will also be able to offer offset solutions to foreign suppliers and OEMs selling defense goods and services in Koera.

Soon-Suk Paik, president and chief executive of Sharp Aviation K, said that through working with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of Korea and international and Korean manufacturers, SESA will offer the Korean aerospace market advanced solutions and systems.

These will be made in Korea and based on Elbit Systems’ technological portfolio, using Sharp Aviation K’s experience in aviation and avionics, strong local presence and deep understanding of the Korean market.

Ackerman left his position but will continue to be a board member – and that will undoubtedly help the management to achieve its goals.

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