Rafael Acquired U.S-based PVP AEO

Above: PVP AEO’S Advanced EO systems

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has completed the acquisition of PVP Advanced EO Systems (PVP AEO) through its U.S. subsidiary Rafael USA, Inc. The acquisition was executed under a stock purchase agreement (SPA) transferring 100% of stock to Rafael USA. The transaction was approved under CFIUS review authorization, governed by a national security agreement (NSA).

Prior to the acquisition, PVP AEO was a privately-owned, California-based company, specializing in the development, manufacturing and integration of electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) sensor systems for defense and Homeland Security. Recently it has provided Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) and Mobile Video Surveillance Systems (MVSS) for the US Customs and Border Patrol along the border with Mexico.

“This acquisition is part of RAFAEL’s strategic investments, with the purpose of transferring cutting-edge state-of-the-art technologies, products and systems into the United States in support of U.S. national security”, said Yoav Har Even, RAFAEL’S President and CEO. “Until recently most of RAFAEL’s operations in the U.S. were in partnership with U.S. Tier-1 prime contractors, while the majority of workshare was manufactured in Israel. PVP AEO will complement and enhance engineering and manufacturing capabilities stateside, while strengthening our U.S. supply chain.”

“PVP AEO retains its identity, brand, products, technologies, services, personnel, culture and management,” said Bruce Ferguson, PVP AEO President and CEO. The acquisition of PVP AEO continues a period of growth in USA, which includes: the standing of RSGS, a subsidiary that received its classified clearance earlier this year; the expansion of its C4ATS manufacturing subsidiary and R2S a Joint Venture with Raytheon Technologies.

RAFAEL is an Israeli-based defense contractor, specializing in cutting-edge combat-proven systems, such as the IRON DOME, TROPHY Active Protection System, LITENING Targeting Pod, SPIKE family of tactical missiles, and more. Rafael’s 2021 revenues totaled $3.075 billion. As for January 2022, its order backlog amounted 7.1 billion dollars, equivalent to 2.5 years of sales activity.

Rafael’s Drone Dome system was used to secure the G7 summit

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. revealed that the British Ministry of Defense used is C-UAS Drone Dome system, as part of its efforts to protect world leaders from potential threats during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England at last June. The Ministry of Defense has purchased several Drone Dome systems three years ago, and the systems were already operational in several arenas. 

The Drone Dome system, whose development was completed in 2016, allows for detection, identification, and neutralization of hostile drones. Such drones may occur at no-fly zones, operated for the purpose of carrying out airstrikes, gathering intelligence or other activities. Each Drone Dome system is composed of RPS-82 static radars manufactured by RADA company, providing 360-degrees coverage for a 3.5 miles range, various sensors and a package of jamming, blocking and interception means. In addition, it is an all-weather system, with continuous 24/7 protection.

The neutralization process is taking place at several phases. First, the system detects and identifies the hostile drone, using its radar and Electro-Optic/IR sensors. Next, data is being processed and a warning is being transferred to the operator. If the drone is being identified as a hostile one, jamming process is taking place – either automatically or manually by the operator, based on AI algorithms.

At the final phase, when the hostile drone is led into safe area, it is being neutralized by a GPS-blocking system, together with a radio & video blocking. A high-focusing laser technology is integrated in the Drone Dome system, allowing it to locks onto the target, tracks it, and carries out either a soft or hard-kill at a short time. The system also includes a safety mechanism, allowing it to focus only at the hostile target, assuring maximal safety for its surroundings and preventing collateral damages.

Several countries have already purchased the system. The usage of Drone Dome system during the G7 summit is evidence to the satisfaction and confidence of the British Ministry of Defense in the system, Rafael says.

Rafael unveiled Long-Range autonomous missile system

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled its Sea Breaker, a 5th generation long range, autonomous, precision-guided missile system designed to hit maritime and land targets. Sea Breaker provides precision strikes from stand-off ranges of up to 300 km. It features an IIR seeker (Imaging Infra-Red). It can be launched from naval platforms, varying in size from fast attack missile boats to corvettes and frigates. The land battery architecture supports standalone launchers, or operation as an integrated solution, with a command and control Unit (CCU) and various sensors.

Using Artificial Intelligence, Sea Breaker performs deep-learning and big data-based scene-matching, enabling Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). The system has full operational capability in GNSS-denied arenas, in all weather conditions. The missile is ECM immune and jam-resilient. Sea Breaker’s mission profile enables sea-skimming and terrain-following low-level flight above ground.

Flying at high subsonic speeds it is effective enough to neutralize a frigate-sized ship in a single hit. The missile’s datalink supports real-time man-in-the-loop decision-making and tactical updates. It also features a mid-flight abort capability and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA).

Lethal AI: Rafael unveiled Deep-Learning Target Recognition

Photo above: SPICE-250 under the wings of F-16

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced that it has successfully tested and demonstrated a new Automatic Target Recognition capability for its SPICE-250 air-to-surface munition. The newly-unveiled ATR feature is a technological breakthrough, enabling SPICE-250 to learn the specific target characteristics ahead of the strike, using advanced AI and deep-learning technologies.

During flight, the pilot selects the target type to be attacked and allocates a target to each weapon. The weapons are launched towards the vicinity of the targets, using their INS for initial navigation. When approaching the target area, the weapons use the ATR mode for detection and recognition of the targets. Each weapon homes-in on the pre-defined target, either autonomously or with a human-in-the-loop, aided by the ATR algorithm.

SPICE (250, 1000, 2000) is a family of autonomous, air-to-ground weapon systems that attack targets with pinpoint accuracy without depending on GPS navigation in GPS-denied environments. It has a standoff range of 100 kilometers, and can be equipped with either general purpose or penetration 75kg class warhead. SPICE-250 uses a common aircraft interface and Smart Quad Rack (SQR) which simplifies the effort needed for aircraft integration. Four SPICE-250 weapons are carried on each SQR. SPICE is combat-proven with the Israeli Air Force and in operational service with a number of international customers.

Elbit Announced Deep Learning Photography Pod

AI is gradually become a reality in the modern battlefield. This week, Elbit Systems  launched its CONDOR MS, a new Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) system that introduces Multi-Spectral (MS) sensing capability and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to stand-off strategic intelligence gathering missions. CONDOR MS integrates three high resolution Electro Optic (EO) sensors into the Company’s certified and widely operational CONDOR2 system: Visible & Near Infra-Red (VNIR), Medium-Wave Infrared (MWIR), and Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR).

Elbit said in a press release that this unique combination extends coverage area in day, night and adverse weather conditions. Deep learning algorithms and precise geo-location enable the CONDOR MS to identify a large number of targets at extremely high rates.The CONDOR family of systems is integrated onboard a variety of platforms. Among them the F-16 A/B/C/D/I, F-4, SU-30 as well as B-737.


Rafael Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles to Australia

Photo above: Infantry soldiers carry the Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missiles

The Australian Minister for Defence Industry and the Minister for Defence, confirmed that the Rafael Spike LR2 missile will be the anti-tank guided missile that will arm the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle of the Ausralian Army. Under project Land 400 Phase 2, Defence will acquire 211 Rheinmetall Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles which will provide vital mobility, lethality and protection for the Australian Army. The Boxer will be manufactured in Queensland, creating up to 1450 jobs across the supply chain.

The Spike missile was selected after an independent comparative evaluation of potential missile options for the vehicle was conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Group. The missile will offer long range, light weight, high resistance to countermeasures and higher technical maturity in the anti-tank role. “The Spike missile is the best anti-tank guided missile for the Boxer,” said Marise Payne, Minister for Defence.

As part of the win, The Israeli Rafael has established a local company in cooperation with the Australian Varley. The joint venture Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) will produce the Spike LR2 missiles in Australia, employing up to 70 Australians directly with hundreds more in the supply chain. Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, said that the commitment by Varley Rafael Australia will bring jobs and high-tech knowledge to Australia. “This will bring IP, know-how and advanced manufacturing techniques to Australia to produce capability for use by the ADF with the potential for export to our friends and allies”.

Rafael is an Israeli defence companies, with a global footprint and around 7,500 employees in Israel. Varley is one of Australia’s oldest and most advanced manufacturing and engineering companies, with a history of delivery for the ADF.

Rheinmetall's Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle
Rheinmetall’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle