Israel Aircraft Industries  says business is booming and expects its backlog of orders to be around $11 billion this year, an increase of around 12% on 2004.

Moshe Keret, IAI's president and chief executive, adds that IAI's sales in 2004 reached $2.1 billion, up 10% on the previous year.

Keret attributes IAI's growing backlog to increased international co-operation agreements with companies in the United States, Southeast Asia, South America and India.

"We are also trying to deepen our co-operation in Europe because of common needs and interests," says Keret.

"We have taken a number of steps in this direction and initiated several joint activates with EADS and signed an agreement for the development of the Venus micro-satellite with the French space agency."

As part of IAI's efforts to increase international co-operation, the company recently briefed Vecdi Gonul, the Turkish minister of defence, on the company's line of mini-UAVs and their role in homeland security.

IAI's president also stresses that the company is pursing both the military and civilian sectors equally.

He cites IAI's subcontracting work on Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner aircraft; the launch of the Gulfstream G150 business jet, co-operation on the Indian Dhruv helicopter and work with a European company on heavy fuel engine for IAI UAVs as examples.

Source: Flight Daily News