Elbit Systems Acquires BAE Systems Rokar

Elbit Systems announced the acquisition of Rokar International from BAE Systems (U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems) for approximately $31 million in cash.  Jerusalem based Rokar specializes in the development, manufacture, integration, and support of high-end GPS receivers and guidance systems for advanced defense applications.

Elbit’s President & CEO, Bezhalel Machlis, said that Rokar’s technologies are already integrated in Elbit’s solutions. “There is an increasing demand for networked precision fire solutions. The acquisition will enhance our capabilities in this growing area of activity.”

Rokar provides GPS solutions for space, air, land, and naval platforms, and hardened GPS solutions for rockets, smart munitions and projectiles, planned to perform in challenging conditions such as radiation, shocks resistance, high-dynamic maneuvering, and jammed environments. BAE’s Rokar developed BAE’s Silver Bullet guidance kit, that gives 10 meter target hit precision for standard 155mm artillery shells. The Rokar Silver Bullet guidance system is designed to transform an artillery shell into a highly accurate munition.

According to Dun and Bradstreet, Rokar has 120 employees in Jerusalem and it generates $US16 million in annual sales. Elbit’s revenues in 2020 were $4,662.6 million, as compared to $4,508.4 million in the year ended December 31, 2019. The majority of the revenues in 2020 generated by the airborne systems and land systems divisions.

Backlog of orders for the year ended December 31, 2020 totaled $11,024 million, as compared to $10,029 million as of December 31, 2019. Approximately 65% of the current backlog is attributable to orders from outside Israel. Approximately 65% of the current backlog is scheduled to be performed during 2021 and 2022.

Elbit Systems to Acquire Sparton

Above: Elbit’s Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) during torpedo launching tests

Elbit Systems’ subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, has signed a definitive agreement with Cerberus Capital Management, for the acquisition of US-based Sparton Corporation for a purchase price of $380 million. Headquartered in De Leon Springs, Florida, Sparton is a supplier of Undersea Warfare systems for the US Navy and allied military forces since WWI. Cerberus acquired Sparton in 2019, and in June 2020 it sold its contract manufacturing unit, Manufacturing & Design Services, to One Equity Partners, which rebranded MDS business as Spartronics.

Today the company is comprised of three divisions: Undersea Warfare Solutions (UWS), Aydin Displays, and Stealth. The UWS division provides mission-critical sonobuoys for Anti-Submarine Warfare and depth-rated encapsulated systems to support Subsea and Seabed Warfare. Aydin division provides ruggedized displays for military and industrial use, and the Stealth division manufactures industrial computer components and industrial-grade small form factor PCs.

Naval Warefare is getting closer to Elbit’s expertise

The acquisition is part of a broader strategy of Elbit aimed to expand its reach in the mitiltary naval markets. It estimates that the new battle space scenario demands force interoperability and a net-centric approach to the entire naval fleet. The naval force of the future will be linked so that all personnel and platforms operate jointly to sense, assess and respond to threats. This brings the Naval Warfare closer to Elbit’s current expertise such as Battle management systems, Electronic Warefare, C4I, Autonomous platforms and more.

This growing activity comes in may shapes and forms: In August 2020, Elbit’s subsidiary GeoSpectrum unveiled compact Very Low Frequency (VLF) long-range acoustic underwater transducers that send and recieve transmissions for distances of up to 2500 km and capable to effectively operate under ice. In July 2020, Elbit expanded its Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel beyond Anti-Submarine Warfare and Mines Countermeasure (MCM), by integrating a mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) onboard the Seagull USV, providing it an intelligence gathering capabilities.

The Seagull autonomous multi-mission USV features switchable, modular mission payload suites and can perform, in addition to ASW, Mine Countermeasure missions (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links. It offers navies a force multiplier, reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.

Elbit Reorganizes its Business Activities

Above: Elbit Systems’ Brigade and Battlegroup Mission Training Center

Elbit Systems announced that it reorganizes certain business activities in order to strengthen synergies. The reorganization will begin during the coming months and will be completed during 2021. The company revealed that the activities in the area of Precision Guided Munition (PGM) will be integrated into the Land Division. The activity of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) will be integrated under Elbit Systems Aerospace Division in order to acieve more synergy across the military aircraft area.

The activities in the areas of Electro-Optical systems and the activities in the areas of Electronic Warfare (EW) and Signal Intelligence will create a new ISTAR & EW Division. Elbit operates in the areas of aerospace, land, and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems and munitions.

Mergers and Acquitisions

In September 2019 its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, completed the acquisition of the Night Vision business of L3Harris Technologies (Harris Night Vision) for $350 million. In November 2018 Elbit completed the Acquisition of the Israeli IMI Systems for a purchase price of approximately $495 million. All its 2,000 empoyees joined Elbit. This acquisition later led to the formation of Elbit Systems Land Division.

Elbit’s Revenues in the third quarter of 2020 were $1,134.2 million, as compared to $1,101.2 million in the third quarter of 2019. The Company’s backlog totals $10,858 million, as compared to $9,796 million as of September 30, 2019. Approximately 65% of the current backlog is attributable to orders from outside Israel. Bezhalel Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit, said that COVID-10 epidemic mainly impacted the Commercial Aviation business, “which resulted in a $60 million non-cash impairment of assets in the quarter.”

Elbit Demonstrated Drone’s Search & Rescue Flights

Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) successfully completed a series of flight demonstrations for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the UK. The demonstrations were designed to test the capabilities of using a UAS for long-range Search and Rescue civilian missions. Taking place off the West Coast of Wales over the first two weeks of September, the Hermes 900 was able to fly Beyond Line of Sight missions in full alignment with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In the demonstration, the Hermes 900 equipped with search and rescue specific radar, an Automatic Identification System, EO/IR payload, an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and full satellite communications, was deployed on a range of missions that simulated shore-line rescues, water rescues in dangerous air space and long-distance ship rescues which crossed international air space lines.

With a wingspan of 15m, the 1.2 ton, Hermes 900 is already deployed with more than a dozen advanced customers around the globe providing search, rescue and reconnaissance capabilities. The Company offers extended life-saving capabilities with its recently launched Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol configuration with inflated life-rafts for detection, identification and saving the lives of survivors at sea. It was revealed that this configuration was delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.

Elbit Systems Awarded $79 Million Contract to Supply Hand Stations for the Bradley IFV

Elbit Systems announced that its subsidiary Elbit Systems of America, was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract by the Defense Logistics Agency Land to supply the U.S. Army with gunner hand stations, commander hand stations and circuit cards for the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The contract, with a maximum value of up to approximately $79 million, will be performed over a 5-year period.

An initial purchase order of approximately $26 million under the contract followed by a second purchase order of approximately $12 million have been issued to be executed over a three-year period. The gunner hand stations enable crew members to target and fire accurately and work in collaboration with the commander hand stations that drive the IFV’s turret and initiate signals to the turret fire control systems. The circuit cards provide processing and power supply to the hand station units.

This is a follow-on order: In October 2016 it received a $7.3 million contract to supply the Bradley’s Hand Station. The Gunner’s Hand Station provides Bradley vehicle gunners the ability to acquire their target and fire accurately. Working in collaboration with the Commander’s Hand Station, the Gunner’s Hand Station is used to drive the rate of movement of the Bradley turret and to initiate control signals to the turret fire control systems in the Bradley M2A3/M3A3 vehicle.

In addition to the Gunner’s Hand Station, Elbit Systems of America also provides the Commander’s Hand Station and the Turret Processing Unit for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

THOR VTOL Completed Environmental Qualifications

Elbit Systems’ THOR, a multi-rotor Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) mini UAS, successfully completed a series of environmental qualification tests. In October, 2019, Elbit was awarded a $153 million contract to provide a networked multi-layered UAS array to an army in Southeast Asia, including more than 1,000 THOR VTOL units.

The tests demonstrated the capability of THOR to maintain operability in temperatures varying from minus 40ºC up to 65ºC, withstand hard gusting rain and rough vibrations, and resist penetration and damage from blowing sand and dust. THOR VTOL mini-UAS is designed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions over land and at sea.

Electrically propelled, it is capable of carrying up to three kg of payloads and has a flight duration capability of up to 75 minutes of operation, a maximal range of 10 kilometers and a flight ceiling of up to 2,000 ft. With an automatic takeoff and landing capability and autonomous mission flight, it can be used for operation in urban areas with non-line of sight communication, as well as in marine zones.

It will be delivered as part of a networked multi-layered UAS solution, including also scores of Skylark LEX, Skylark 3 and Hermes 450 tactical UAS as well as Universal Ground Control Stations.

THOR VTOL during tests of hard gusting rain
THOR VTOL during tests of hard gusting rain


Elbit to Provide a Networked UAS Array to an Army in Asia

Elbit Systems announced today that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $153 million to supply an Army of a country in Southeast Asia with a multi-layered array of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The contract will be performed over a 22-month period. Elbit Systems will supply a networked multi-layered UAS solution, including more than a thousand THOR Multi-Rotor Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) mini-UAS, scores of Skylark LEX, Skylark 3 and Hermes 450 tactical UAS and multiple Universal Ground Control Stations.

THOR (photo above) is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Mini – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), designed for low altitude surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Built from the ground up, THOR features a real-time HD data link and control software. With an automatic takeoff and landing capability and autonomous mission flight, it can operate in marine zones and urban areas with non-line of sight communication. It carries payload of up to 3 kg, including dual EO/IR lightweight payload with endurance of up to 75 minutes.

Skylark 3 is a tactical mini UAV system (UAS) to the division, brigade and battalion levels. It is fitted for both dismounted and vehicle-based operation. The platform is based on the battle-proven Skylark I-LEX, with over 30 international customers and tens of thousands of operational sorties. It provides service ceiling of 15,000 ft. with range of 100 km and endurance of 6 hours in the air.

Hermes 450 is a mature and combat proven platform with more than 300,000 operational flight hours during the last decade. It can reach a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. and to carry 180 kg payload for missions as long as 17 hours each. Hermes 450 is the backbone of the UK Watchkeeper program.