JERUSALEM — Elbit Systems received a contract for $76 million to supply an electronic warfare training capability for an air force in an unnamed Asia-Pacific country, the Israeli firm announced Sept. 13.
It is common for Israeli defense companies not to identify some customers, and Elbit would not elaborate on which country acquired the capability.
“What we have seen in the last years is a sharp increase in the importance that armed forces place on electronic warfare,” David Vaaknin, vice president and head of corporate communications at Elbit, told Defense News. “Militaries are seeing what has happened in conflict zones where Russia and China are involved and how they operate and how vulnerable platforms are to electronic warfare attacks.”
“Training for EW is also part of this [trend]. It’s not enough to have the technological capability,” he added. “What we provide under this recent contract [is] a solution that enables air forces to train and test their equipment in a real threat-rich EW environment.”
This means pilots using Elbit’s training technology will face realistic threats in flight. “It’s not a simulation; it’s an actual attack. The experience is much closer to what they will face in the battle zone,” he said.
After each drill, the pilot and air force personal can see and analyze the results.
This latest contract builds on Elbit’s previous sales of electronic warfare systems as well as its role in training and providing technological advancements to the Israel Defense Forces. In 2013, the company won a $115 million contract to provide an unnamed Asian country with multipurpose, land-based electronic warfare systems. It also received an $85 million contract from an unnamed European customer in 2018 for a land-based EW system.
Additionally, Elbit received a $100 million contract to supply EW suites to the British Royal Navy last year.
The company is also involved with the IDF’s Brigade and Battlegroup Mission Training Center, which was announced in 2020. And in May 2022, Elbit and the IDF unveiled the Edge of Tomorrow program to improve force lethality and integrate new technology into the military. That same month, Elbit received a $69 million contract to supply electronic warfare systems to an unnamed country in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under the latest contract, Elbit will perform work for two years, with the potential for follow-up tasks. The company supplies the hardware and software for this training system, which includes sensing and transmitting systems of various types, as well as command-and-control and analytical tools, according to Elbit.
This same system has been sold elsewhere, Elbit said, although the firm would not elaborate. The company operates in Australia, has joint ventures in India and conducts business in South Korea, among other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
“This is an area of the world that is coping with the increasing dominance of China. This is something that is not stagnant but rapidly developing in last several years: You see a continuous capability buildup in many countries in this region, you see it in focus on naval capability and other operations, like you see now in airborne EW,” Vaaknin said.
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.