JERUSALEM — Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and German sensor specialist Hensoldt have teamed up to develop a new electronic-warfare capability for the German Air Force, the companies announced last week.

The plan is to “integrate and enhance Rafael’s Sky Shield electronic warfare pod as a mature, off-the-shelf escort jammer (ESJ) with the latest airborne electronic-attack national sensitive technology by Hensoldt,” known as the Kalaetron Attack jammer, the companies said in a joint statement.

An initial operating capability is envisioned for 2028.

The companies signed an exclusive teaming agreement in Tel Aviv on Oct. 18. Thomas Müller, the CEO of Hensoldt, was present alongside Israel’s Yaov Har-Even, the president and CEO of Rafael who is also a retired major general in the country’s armed forces.

The combined capability will enable the Luftwaffe to adapt the Eurofighter Typhoon into an electronic-attack (EA) platform. “The new EA pod utilizes the existing interfaces of the Litening Pod, already combat-proven on the Typhoon, thus significantly simplifying the integration efforts and saving invaluable resources,” the companies said.

Rafael makes the Litening and Reccelite targeting and reconnaissance pods which are already in use on the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoon and on planes of other NATO members.

“Our companies are experts in airborne electronic warfare and combine latest technology with battle-proven equipment”, said Thomas Müller. Rafael’s Har-Even praised the partnership as a significant milestone in expanding Rafael’s strategic investments in Germany. “This collaboration is a direct result of Rafael’s strategy to apply localization and ensure local sovereignty. Hensoldt and Rafael share a common vision, unique knowledge, and an organizational culture of excellence,” he said.

Rafael already has a foothold in the German defense market. Its Trophy active protection system has been installed on German tanks and it has created a new German-based company for sales and production of the system with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and General Dynamics European Land Systems. Rafael also sells EuroSpike in Germany in a joint venture with Diehl Defense GmbH and Rheinmetall Electronics. Rafael also has partnered with Atos on a “glass battlefield” program which provides a three dimensional picture for mobile operations.

Germany’s Hensoldt has teamed with Israeli firms in the past. Last year the German company won a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries to supply new radars to modernize Germany’s ballistic missile defenses. Hensoldt also partnered with Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, to work on new developments for submarine masts.

Seth J. Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflict in the Mideast since 2010 for different publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

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