Seeking new horizons, Elbit signs deals in Australia, Latin America

The Israeli defense communication manufacturer hopes to beef up sales, after declines in the US and Europe

As the business climate in the US and Europe remains uncertain, Israeli companies have been branching out to new and developing markets. A prime example of the trend is Elbit, which has recently expanded operations to Australia and Latin America, providing assistance to defense forces in communications systems and training programs.

Elbit, which specializes in electronics, intelligence technology, and communications systems, last week announced that it had been awarded a contract from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for the supply of battle management systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s landing craft.

Elbit’s systems will be integrated into the landing craft, specifically on board the Australian Navy’s Canberra Class Amphibious ships. The landing craft enables transport of troops and equipment from ships to shore, including in locations without permanent port facilities. The Elbit  network guarantees communication between the ships and infantry forces during joint operations.

Elbit also recently announced that it had been awarded a contract for the establishment of a Mission Training Center (MTC) for fighter aircraft of an unnamed Latin American country’s air force. The $18.5 million MTC is due for completion in 2014, the company said.

The MTC is designed to improve the operational training of pilots in flight simulators, providing them with “a cutting-edge training capability which has not been available to air forces until now,” the company said. “The high quality of operational training achieved by the MTC will enable pilots to operate training sorties on board the simulators rather than in fighter jets, allowing optimal use of existing resources,” a company spokesperson added.

Most of Elbit’s business is in Israel and the US, but with budgets being slashed in both countries, the company has begun to look beyond their traditional markets. In a recent interview with Reuters, outgoing Elbit President and Chief Executive Joseph Ackerman said that focusing on developing business in Latin America and Australia “will enable us to continue to grow, even against the background of tightening budgets in Europe and the United States.”

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