Interview withGiora Katz, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Rafael
Robert Czulda, a MONS correspondent at MSPO 2017, interviewed Giora Katz, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Rafael.
MONS: MSPO is attended by various companies from around the world. Rafael comes here every year. What brings you here?
G. Katz: MSPO is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our solutions and meet with decision-makers on various levels, both from the military and from government, as well as with leading industries. Poland is a very important customer of Rafael’s and there are a number of opportunities we are working towards with our Polish partners.
MONS: Rafael already has a strong position in Poland. Could you please elaborate on your presence in Poland so far?
G. Katz: Rafael considers Poland to be a strategic market for its technologies and solutions, ranging from Active Air Defense, Naval Systems, Air-to-Air Systems, C4I, Air-To-Ground systems, and tactical precisions weapons for the various battle platforms. Rafael has also supplied the Polish Armored Corps with hundreds of Passive Armor units and Armor shields that have been installed on Polish Armored Vehicles that took part in the coalition war in Afghanistan. These Rafael Armor systems saved the lives of hundreds of Polish personnel in combat.
In 2003, Rafael signed a major agreement with Mesko for its SPIKE [e.g. SPIKE LR] missiles. Rafael’s combat-proven SPIKE family consists of missiles suited for land, air and sea platforms, multiple ranges and a variety of targets. This agreement involved the transfer of missile knowledge and production. This has created hundreds of jobs in Skarżysko Kamienna. Since then, Mesko has produced hundreds of SPIKE missiles that have been supplied to the Polish military and has been involved in Rafael’s production for its international customers.
MONS: What are the most important products and projects you are offering here in Kielce? Also, what are your goals for the future regarding MSPO and the Polish market?
G. Katz: Rafael has developed ground-breaking active defense systems that meet the threat before it hits the target. These technologies, serving all air, land and naval domains, make up Systems-of-Systems, comprising various elements from detection, classification, threat analysis, impact-point determination and allocation of optimal means of interception, if required. Some of these systems have already been widely tested in combat with unprecedented rates of success.
Most notable among these are the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems, which provide a comprehensive double-tiered air defense solution. The Iron Dome is used for missile defense against short-range artillery rockets. Since its initial operational deployment, Iron Dome has intercepted over 1,500 rockets at an interception rate of approximately 90%. David’s Sling, produced and developed together with Raytheon, will be used against medium- and long-range rockets, short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. In April 2016, the system was declared operational by the Israeli Air Force. The intercepting missile of David’s Sling system (SkyCeptor) has been chosen by Raytheon as its low-cost interceptor, with the Polish Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System. The Polish industry would co-develop and produce the system with Raytheon. The SkyCeptor interceptor is based on the Stunner hit-to-kill missile, currently in full-rate production. SkyCeptor is an advanced innovative interceptor that provides a low-cost solution against a large variety of threats. The Stunner’s seeker detects and tracks the most challenging targets in all weather conditions and maintains precision aim-point selection at end-game.
MONS: What are the most important elements of your stand this year at MSPO?
G. Katz: This year we are presenting active air defense systems (Stunner and Iron Dome interceptors), active protection systems for armored vehicles (Trophy APS), the SPIKE family of missiles that includes the newly-unveiled Spike LR 2 and the Short-Range Spike SR, as well as our Samson Remote Weapon Stations, our SPICE 250 air-to-ground munition, the BNET SDR communication system, EO systems for land and sea, and more.
MONS: Could you please elaborate on your international cooperation? Do you already have a significant export record?
G. Katz: Rafael has a strong standing in the international markets. We not only present combat-proven systems, but can also account for proven partnerships all over the globe. One of our strengths lies in our ability for technology and knowledge transfer, which allows our partners to produce and supply local systems.
Rafael’s solutions are known worldwide and are in use by many militaries including the Americans, the Europeans, NATO allies, countries in East Asia and others. Each of these militaries has its own needs, requirements and challenges, and our solutions to these militaries span from force and armor protection, air defense and air-to-air, to naval warfare, C4I, precise tactical munitions, etc.
MONS: The Polish government expects a large involvement in the Polish defense industry. How does Rafael address this requirement? Do you offer a technology and production transfer?
G. Katz: We not only present combat proven systems, but can also account for proven partnerships all over the globe. One of our strengths lies in our ability for technology and knowledge transfer, which allows our partners to produce and supply local systems. Our cooperation with MESKO is a classic case. We maintain excellent relationships with the government offices, the forces and the industries, and we are looking to expand our activities in Poland. One of Rafael’s goals is to enlarge our activities around the globe and especially in Poland. For Rafael, exploitation of our R&D-intensive and combat-proven technology for developing the Polish defense industry, while addressing the urgent operational requirements of the Polish military, is a win-win situation for all.
MONS: Thank you.