from the December 2016 issue

The Origin of High-Tech and Armaments

The 1967 Six Day War, as it was named, marked the end of a multi-year relationship between Israel and France. The latter had become an important supplier of arms and Mirage airplanes.

In the wake of the Six Day War, it became apparent that Charles DeGaulle had effectively cut off the supply parts for the French made planes used so successfully by the Israeli air force. It was a bitter pill to swallow and voices of reason began to promote the idea that Israeli institutes of higher-learning must be weaned away from fundamental research to applied research. The country must produce its own electronics and smart systems and become independent of funky suppliers.

The adaptation of this concept marked the birth of Israel's high-technology industries which for the greater part dedicated itself to supply the critical needs of a country which needed to be always ready to defend itself. It was a slow go at first but once momentum gathered Israelis turned to technology in earnest.

Dan Tolkowky, the one-time Chief of the Israeli Air Force found a laboratory for Efie Arazi from which he launched Scitex, which revolutionized digital photography. Several years later Tolkowsky helped Scitex to raise capital on the over-the counter market. Investors were attracted to the young Israeli startup and helped to double the price of the Scitex shares.

Other founders of a variety of Israeli high-technology industries included Uzia Galil who used his close connection with the Technion Israel's Institute of Technology. Dov Frohman the brilliant engineer left his job at Intel America to establish Intel Israel, which exports more than four billion annually of its chips. While industries producing products for commercial consumption were thriving the armament sector was producing novel weapons, which were first used by the Israel Defense Forces and then eventually found export markets. for commercial consumption

Israel Shafrir missile
Israel Python air-to-air missile
Israel Popeye air-to-surface missile AKA AGM-142 Have Nap in US use
Israel Popeye Turbo SLCM suspected long range submarine-launched cruise missile

United States AIM-9 Sidewinder heat seeking air-to-air missile
United States MIM-72 Chaparral surface-to-air missile
Israel Delilah cruise missile
Israel Iron Dome anti-rocket and mortar defense missile
Israel David's Sling surface-to-air missile
Israel Jericho II intermediate range ballistic missile
Israel Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missile
Israel created a niche for air space poducts.

These included Space systems
Israel AMOS communications satellite Israel EROS earth observation satellite
Israel Ofeq reconnaissance satellite
Israel TecSAR reconnaissance satellite
Israel Shavit space launch vehicle

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report December 2016

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