Taking a “regional address” in an emerging market

Israeli companies are continually trying to improve their position in the Asia-Pacific. The region is without any doubt an “emerging” market, and the competition over each potential deal will be fierce.

Elbit Systems – one of Israel’s major defence companies – has defined the Asia-Pacific as a prime market for its unmanned air systems (UAS). At recent promotional events in the region, the Israeli company made a special effort to promote its Hermes 900 UAS

The 900 allows flight altitudes of more than 30,000ft (9,140m), has a large payload capacity and flight capabilities in adverse weather conditions. The type is based on the combat-proven Hermes 450.

The 900 has a wingspan of 15m (49ft), is 8.3m long and has a max take-off weight of 1,100kg (2,430lb).  Max payload weight is 300kg.

But products are not enough. A foreign company needs a “regional address”.

In April, Elbit established Sharp Elbit Systems Aerospace (SESA) ­– a jointly venture company in South Korea – with Sharp Aviation K, located in Seoul.

Elbit owns 19%, with a growth option to 50% ownership.

SESA operates from Ansan, and among other capabilities offers maintenance, repair and manufacture of advanced military aircraft avionics. It also provides research and development of systems and avionics for existing and future projects, such as the Korean Light Attack Helicopter and Korean Future Fighter development programmes.

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

The joint company will co-ordinate the marketing efforts made by Elbit Systems in the region.

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