from the November 2013 issue

Lavi grounded, high tech takes off

The effort for military self-sufficiency reached its limits in the 1980s, when Israel tried to develop the Lavi jet fighter. The cost proved beyond her and the project was abandoned, but this meant that, in the mid-eighties, hundreds of engineers with experience at the cutting edge of aerodynamics, avionics, computers and elect ro nics were released onto the market. The Lavi project's demise has been described as one of the greatest ever boosts to Israeli high-tech industry.

Since the Lavi, Israeli defense industries have focused more on components, electronics, avionics and other systems that are installed on American or other platforms. Israel has arranged many reciprocal procurement agreements with leading aerospace and military manufacturers, which help sustain high-tech industries. The development of these auxiliary systems has also given Israeli high-tech industries an edge in civilian spin-offs in security, electronics, computers, software and the burgeoning Internet sectors.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report November 2013

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