22 March 2018 - 6 Nisan 5778 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ח
India and Israel in military deal E-mail

In a deal valued at over US$2.5 billion, India and Israel will co-develop and produce a medium-range surface-to-air missile for use by the Indian Army.

An official from India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the weapon, dubbed MRSAM, will be produced by the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in partnership with other stateowned and private defence companies, but refused to say who will own the data package for the technology.

“The formal clearance for the MRSAM project has been given by the Cabinet committee on security headed by the prime minister,” the MoD official said. A formal contract will be awarded soon.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) executives were unavailable for comment. The MRSAM will be developed jointly by India’s state-owned defence research agency, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and IAI. The weapon will have the capability to shoot down enemy aircraft and drones at a strike range of between 50 and 70 kilometres.

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SAIC to set up R&D centre in Israel E-mail

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) will establish a Research & Development (R&D) centre in Israel for advanced auto technologies, the company announced recently in China.

The company said the centre would focus on development and venture capital investment in “electrical propulsion, data networks, car sharing, and smart automated propulsion”. According to Globes, the centre is part of a global plan in which the company is expanding its R&D worldwide. It recently opened a similar centre in Silicon Valley, US.

The company’s advance team is already in Israel, and its branch there is slated to expand to 50 employees. It is believed that SAIC’s business in Israel will be located in the new management centre of the Lubinski group in Meuyan Sorek. Lubinski has been the official importer for SAIC in recent years, and has sold several thousand units of the brand to date.

SAIC, a Fortune 100 company that is one of the four largest Chinese auto manufacturers, is a Chinese Government company and sells nearly five million vehicles a year.

The auto industry believes that this is just the spearhead of R&D and venture-capital investment by Chinese auto manufacturers in Israeli auto-tech. Early in March, a new auto-tech entrepreneurship and innovation centre owned by Chinese company Geely, with Volvo as a partner, was inaugurated in Israel.

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Autotalks teams up with Taiwan’s RoyalTek E-mail

Autotalks, an Israeli semiconductor company that makes vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems for use in autonomous driving cars, and Taiwan’s RoyalTek, a maker of global positioning systems (GPS) and satellite navigation technology, have joined forces to improve road safety.

The two companies made their announcement in January at the consumer electronics tradeshow CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

The companies said they will develop a new vehicle-topedestrian product in which cars equipped with Autotalks’ V2X semiconductor chips will be able to “talk” to pedestrians who use RoyalTek’s OMEN device. Designed as a phone case, the OMEN is equipped with chips that will send alerts to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists on their phones when cars get dangerously close and there is a risk of a crash. The joint product is currently at the prototype stage.

The algorithms that define what constitutes a risky or dangerous situation still need to be worked out, along with what form the alert will take – at the moment it is a visual alert on the phone, but a vibration or ring could be added to increase its impact, Autotalks said. The product will also be hacker-proof, allowing regular consumer cellphones to be used without compromising their privacy or security.

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Elbit Systems secures Asia-Paci c contract E-mail

Elbit Systems has won a contract worth approximately US$110 million from an Asia-Paci c country for the upgrade and maintenance of dozens of Mi-17 helicopters.

The project will be carried out over a five-year period. The solutions are tailored to meet customer demands, whether they are for a single system, large-scale systems, structural upgrades or maintenance and support.

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems said: “Since the ‘ageing helicopter’ market is growing rapidly and includes numerous Eastern platforms, we hope other customers will follow the selection of our modernisation solutions.”

According to Defenseworld.net, Mi-17 helicopters are own in India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand.

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Google and non-pro t company X Prize announced in January that out of 33 original teams, five have secured launch contracts to send spacecraft to the Moon.

Israel’s SpaceIL team and India’s Team Indus are among the final five. The SpaceIL team is funded by a US casino tycoon, while Team Indus receives support from the Indian Space Research Organization.

Teams must launch their spacecraft by no later than 31 December 2017 to be in the running to win the US$20-million Google Lunar X Prize.

The spacecraft must carry a payload containing a data disk and a commemorative plaque, and be able to transmit up to 100 kilobytes of data from the surface to the orbital craft, which must then transmit that information back to Earth. No more than 10 percent of the mission cost can come from government funding.

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