Rafael Advanced Defense Systems


Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. ( he, רפאל - מערכות לחימה מתקדמות בע"מ, formerly Rafael Armament Development Authority), ("Rafael" from Hebrew acronym of "Authority for the Development of Armaments" - ) is an Israeli defense technology company. It was founded as Israel's National R&D Defense Laboratory for the development of
weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting Hunting is the practice of see ...
s and
military technology Military technology is the application of technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any Art techniques and materials, techn ...
within the
Israeli Ministry of Defense The Ministry of Defense ( he, מִשְׂרַד הַבִּטָּחוֹן, ''Misrad HaBitahon'') of the government of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, ...
; in 2002 it was incorporated as a
limited company In a limited company, the liability of members or subscribers of the company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capaci ...
. Rafael develops and produces weapons, military, and defense technologies for the
Israel Defense Forces The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל ; ), commonly referred to by the Hebrew-language acronym ''Tzahal'' (), are the combined military forces of the Israel, State of Israel, consisting of t ...
and for export abroad. All current projects are classified.


Rafael was established in 1948 as the Science Corps ( he, חיל המדע, known by the acronym HEMED, he, חמד) under the leadership of Shlomo Gur. It was renamed the Research and Design Directorate () in 1952. In 1952 David Ben-Gurion decided to split into two agencies the activities of HEMED. The pure scientific research was left with HEMED, while the development of weapons was placed in the new EMET agency. In 1954 Ben-Gurion decided to change the name of EMET to RAFAEL. It was reorganized as Rafael in 1958. In 1995, Yitzhak Rabin asked Amos Horev to become chairman of the board of Rafael, following many years in which Horev had served as chairman of Rafael's advisory committee. Horev served as chairman until January 2001.

Restructuring as a limited company

During the early 1990s Rafael was operating at a loss (peaking in 1995, with a loss of $120 million on a turnover of $460 million). Therefore, it was decided to restructure the organization and start operating Rafael as a company. Initially the new company had three discrete divisions, each operating as a profit centre, with a separate balance sheet presented to the newly formed management board. The restructuring was completed in 2002 when Rafael was formally incorporated as a
limited company In a limited company, the liability of members or subscribers of the company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capaci ...
(although still as a government-owned corporation), while maintaining its technological capabilities through an investment of about 10% of turnover in R&D programs. In its first year as a limited company, Rafael earned a $37 million profit on $830 million in sales. By 2016, Rafael reported annual net profits of 473 million Israeli new shekel, ILS (roughly 130 million dollars), up 3%, compared with ILS 459 million in 2015. New orders in 2016 totaled ILS 10.7 billion, and sales amounted to ILS 8.32 billion, 6% more than in 2015. The company's orders backlog as of the end of 2016 was ILS 21.72 billion, 12% more than at the end of 2015. On October 14, 2007, the company changed its name from Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

Technological achievements

* Shafrir (later renamed Python (missile), Python) – one of the most successful air-to-air missiles ever made (during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the IAF launched 176 Shafrir 2 missiles, destroying 106 enemy aircraft) * Spike (missile), Spike – a fourth generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile * Popeye (missile), Popeye – an air-to-ground missile system ** Popeye (missile)#Popeye Turbo Submarine Launched Cruise Missile, Popeye Turbo SLCM – believed to be a nuclear-tipped submarine-launched cruise missile * Iron Dome – the world's first operational Anti-aircraft warfare, air defense system to intercept short-range rockets and Shell (projectile), artillery shells * Trophy (countermeasure), Trophy – the world's second operational active protection system, which successfully destroyed an anti-tank missile launched from the Gaza Strip toward a Merkava Mark IV tank near Nir Oz * Protector USV – the world's first operational unmanned surface vehicle (unmanned, autonomous naval combat system) * David's Sling – surface-to-air missile system

Civilian technology transfer

In 1993, Rafael Development Corporation (RDC), a technology transfer company, was established as a joint venture with Elron Electronic Industries; in order to commercialize applications based on defense technologies for medical devices, telecommunications, and semiconductor industries. The company has successfully established and developed several companies including: * Given Imaging – a pioneer in the sphere of capsule endoscopy * Oramir, Oramir Semiconductor Equipment – developer of laser cleaning technologies for the semiconductor industry, sold to Applied Materials in 2001 for $21 million. * Starling Advanced Communications (TASE:STLG) – provider of broadband wireless networking solutions for airliners. * Galil Medical – a developer of cryotherapy solutions. * SELA Semiconductor Engineering Laboratories – a provider of automated sample preparation tools for semiconductor manufacturers, sold to Camtek Intelligent Imaging. * 3DV Systems – developers of the ZCam, a time-of-flight camera products for video applications, sold to Microsoft.Alt URL
/ref> * Medingo – developer of a micro pump insulin delivery system consists of two parts: a semi-disposable insulin dispensing patch and a remote control, which allows for discreet personalised insulin delivery. The company was sold to Hoffmann-La Roche's subsidiary Roche Diagnostics for $160 million as well as up to $40 million in milestone payments.


* Air Defense systems ** Iron Dome *** Tamir (missile), Tamir, missile used by Iron Dome *** C-Dome (the naval version of Iron Dome) ** MIC4AD ** SPYDER ** David's Sling ** Drone Dome ** Iron Beam * Air to Air missiles ** Python-5 ** Python (missile)#Derby, I-Derby ** Python (missile)#I-Derby ER, I-Derby ER * Air to Surface missile ** Spice (bomb) Family ** Sparrow (target missile), SPARROW family ** Rocks (bomb), Rocks Family, unveiled in February 2019. * Precision Guided missiles ** Spike (missile), SPIKE ER ** Spike (missile), SPIKE LR ** Spike (missile), SPIKE NLOS ** Sea Breaker (missile), Sea Breaker * Missile upgrade kits ** Electro-optical Precision Integration Kit (EPIK) * Active Protection System ** Trophy active protection system "Windbreaker" (Hebrew: מעיל רוח) * Remote-controlled weapon station ** Rafael OWS (nicknamed "FN MAG, MAG Rafael" by the Israel Defense Forces, IDF) ** Samson RCWS (Hebrew name: קטלנית) ** Typhoon Weapon Station for naval applications and military ships

See also

*Military equipment of Israel *Israel Military Industries *Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) *Israel Shipyards *Israel Association for Automatic Control *Elbit (El-Op) *Soltam *Military Institute of Armament Technology *Defence Technology Institute *Swedish Defence Research Agency *Defence Research and Development Organisation *National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology


*''The bomb in the basement'', Michael Karpin, Ed Simon & Schuster.

External links

Rafael Development CorporationRafael at EurpStory 2004
{{authority control Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Government-owned companies of Israel Defense companies of Israel Companies based in Haifa