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Dubai Airshow 2021: Israeli companies make debut in Gulf

The Israeli defence industry has made its first forays into the Gulf defence market with a number of major companies exhibiting at the Dubai Airshow, marking their first formal appearance in the region.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been highlighting its Barak MX missile system at the show, as well as communication and observation satellites, and special mission aircraft.

Golan Haver, IAI's Senior VP of Marketing, told Janes that the company was attending the show “to find new partners, strengthen existing collaboration, and also bring new business endeavours to fruition”.

“We're looking to have some collaboration based on our innovative technologies, while I think the idea on that basis is to find mutual interests between the two countries. I found that both countries are sharing the same spirit in terms of driving for new technologies, and both countries are supporting the start-up ecosystems in terms of innovation, agility, creativity and this is an excellent opportunity for IAI to find new collaborations to the benefits of the two countries,” Haver said.

Civil aviation work has helped to build the relationships between IAI and the Gulf, according to Haver, with civil airliners from the Gulf being maintained in Israel, alongside collaboration on Covid-19 detection. The company announced on 15 November that it had received a contract to convert four Boeing B777-300ER passenger aircraft into a cargo configuration for Emirates, with work to be performed at Etihad's Engineering maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility in Abu Dhabi.

Yuval Miller, executive vice-president for air and C4I systems at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, told Janes

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