With recent success with the Spike missile family for LAND 400 Phase 2 and Phase 3, Rafael is quickly becoming a leading provider of advanced capabilities for the Australian Defence Force. Rafael used Land Forces 2018 to showcase some of the company's unique capabilities across the increasingly contested battlespace.
Rafael develops and manufactures advanced defence systems for the Israeli Defense Forces and the defence establishment, as well as for foreign customers around the world. The company offers its customers a diversified array of innovative solutions at the leading edge of global technology, from underwater systems through naval, ground, and air superiority systems to space systems.
As an advanced company providing a range of innovative solutions, Rafael operates in a number of key areas relevant for the Australian Defence Force and its continuing modernisation programs, particularly the:
Air Superiority Division: Designs, develops and manufactures world-leading air defence and air-to-air systems. This division is responsible for the joint Rafael-Raytheon development of systems such as:
- David's Sling, an air defence system designed to intercept medium range rockets and missiles, as well as air-breathing target;
- Iron Dome, an air defence system for interception of short-medium range rockets; and
- SPYDER, an air-defence system, based on Rafael's advanced air-to-air Python-5 and Derby missiles, and for Barak – a naval point defence system.
Land and Navigation Systems: Designs, develops and manufactures land, naval and underwater systems, including:
- The Spike Family of electro-optical, precision-guided, tactical missiles launched from the air, ground and sea;
- Remote-controlled weapon stations for ground and naval applications, passive and reactive armor for armored vehicles (such as the Bradley and the AAV7);
- The Trophy APS Family (already installed and combat-proven on the Merkava-4 MBT's), shoulder-launched systems (Matador), the Protector USV, and others; and
- This division acts as the integrator of Rafael's SIS (Security Integrated Systems) solutions for the protection of critical and strategic assets on land and at sea.
Air and C4ISR Systems Division: This new division includes:
- Air-to-ground Systems (SPICE - a precise standoff bomb with advanced target-detection and navigation capabilities);
- Airborne Electro-Optical Systems for observation, navigation and targeting (Litening) and for real-time aerial surveillance (Reccelite), detection of light arms fire source for quick sensor-to-shooter engagement (Spotlite);
- Communications, and intelligence and cyber. The division is also responsible for the "Sparrow" family of missiles, for simulation of ballistic trajectories of targets; and
- Other division solutions include advanced communications systems such as BNET (Software Defined Radio), TACMAX, and the Imilite intelligence data exploitation and processing system.
On show was a number of innovative systems that can extend the range, lethality and protection afforded to Australian forces, key infrastructure and military installations, led by Drone Dome, which builds on the success of the Iron Dome system to provide a multilayered counter-UAS system.
Meir Ben Shaya, business development manager, lower tier air and missile defense directorate, air superiority systems, said, "The solutions to hostile UAS needs to be an integrated one. Drone Dome is a flexible, adaptive system thanks to an open architecture system, which means it can be integrated into broader systems and light weight at 20 kilograms, which means it is both man-portable and can be mounted on the back of a vehicle."
Drone Dome has 360 degree circular coverage and is designed to detect, track and neutralise drones classified as threats flying in no-fly zones. Drone Dome has a very fast response time, it causes minimal collateral interruptions to the surrounding urban environment, with maximum safety to friendly aircraft.
"Drone Dome is a counter-UAS system that builds on four layers, the first being detection, using a tactical radar system utilising a signals intelligence detection system, the second is a visual detection system using high definition cameras, the third layer of neutralisation which jams the UAS' control signals and the fourth is interception with a low power (5kw) laser to destroy the UAS. From initial detection to target elimination, it takes seven seconds," said Ben Shaya.
Rafael also provided a number of variants of its Spike missile system, which is an advanced, fifth-generation, multi-purpose, multi-platform missile system, designed for deployment on armoured vehicles, like Army's new Boxer Combat Reconaissance Vehicles (CRV) and the successful tender of LAND 400 Phase 3. The system in its variants is also deployed from foot mobile troops and rotary aircraft, including the Tiger ARH, UH-60 Blackhawk providing force commonality and shortening logistics supply chains.
With the recent joint venture between Varley Australia and Rafael marking the nation the 10th country to locally manufacture the Spike weapons system in-country, Rafael has supplied 30,000 Spike missiles and systems to 30 countries.
"Rafael has an established history of working with allies and operators of our systems, Spike is one such example, where we have 30,000 units built across nine countries with the recent announcement made by VRA making Australia the 10th country to manufacture our leading-edge system," said Ishai David, deputy spokesman at Rafael.