Elbit's new intelligence division will coordinate various company capabilities, including electro-optics, to support all divisions, (Elbit)
TEL AVIV — Elbit Systems, Israel’s fastest growing defense firm, has established an intelligence division tasked with vectoring electro-optics, information technology (IT), cyber and other relevant product lines to the benefit of the wider corporate portfolio.
The new division — Intelligence and Electro-Optics Elop — will be managed by Adi Dar, managing director of Elop Ltd., a subsidiary of the Haifa-based parent company based in Rehovot.
In a Nov. 18 letter to Elbit’s 12,000-some employees, President and CEO Bezhalel “Butzi” Machlis said the new division is part of a recent corporate roadmap that identified the intelligence sector as a future growth engine.
“We decided to develop this field in a cross-corporate manner that will allow us to vector existing capabilities into force multipliers for future growth,” Machlis wrote.
The new division will consolidate the intelligence and observation capabilities already in Elop together with the IT, intelligence and cyber activities now managed by Elbit’s Systems Land and C4I Division
In a Dec. 3 interview, Machlis said the new division would support all divisions and product lines, including unmanned systems, electronic warfare and signals intelligence — Elisra And Land and C4I .
Additionally, Elbit is establishing an intra-divisional unit aimed at vectoring ongoing independent research and development (IR&D) across all corporate sectors. Headed by Asaf Ashkenazi, Elbit Systems vice president, the new unit will support sector-specific IR&D activities that will continue to be managed by the relevant divisions.
“We’ve adopted a new model for more comprehensive, corporate-wide benefit of our IR&D activities. It won’t replace our specialty focus, but rather vector it for the collective good,” Machlis told Defense News.
He also said that Elbit will leverage the firm’s existing defense capabilities for civilian and commercial markets. Potential dual-use markets eyed by the firm include avionics and technologies associated with energy and medical sectors.
Elbit traditionally reinvests some 9 percent of annual revenue in IR&D. In 2012, the firm posted $168 million in net profit based on $2.9 billion in sales, with a backlog of $5.7 billion.
Last June, the company established in cooperation with Israel’s Chief Scientist Office a technology incubator tasked with identifying areas for investment. Chaired by longtime Elbit executive Haim Rousso, former managing director of Elop, the new Incubit Technology Ventures is located in the government’s new technology park in Beersheba.