To say tiny Israel punches above its weight in the global market – its modestly-sized manufacturers competing with giant aerospace and defence contractors from the USA and Europe – is a cliche but no less true. Surrounded by hostile neighbours, the Jewish state has had to develop world-beating technology, an impressive industrial base and a self-sufficient enterpreneurial culture.
Flight International this week has been to Israel to report on how its manufacturers manage to pull it off. Now they are having to work harder than ever on the export front, as their main customer, the Israeli government, looks hard at its defence budget. Our country special, by Washington bureau chief Stephen Trimble, aided by veteran Tel Aviv correspondent Arie Egozi, includes pieces on unmanned air vehicles, a market in which IAI and Elbit compete; missile specialist Rafael; leading edge technologies in avionics, green taxiing, countermeasures and refuelling; and two other markets IAI subsidiaries play in: freighter conversions and business jet assembly.
Elsewhere in the issue: P&W validates fix for Neo engine and why ATR is on the up and its rival Bombardier, maker of the Q400, on a descent. We have an update on the beleagured Berlin airport and look at how lessor orders are taking 737 orders to the Max. Plus: how hailstones left the UK government with a £10 million helicopter repair bill in Afghanistan.