This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
By Arie Egozi
Armed forces around the world are looking more and more for weapons “packages” that will provide them with combined capabilities.
This demand allows Israeli companies to offer the potential clients packages of sensors and weapon systems, but not only. The fact that integration has been made and the weapons were tested in many cases during combat, gives the manufacturers an edge when they compete for a contract.
One good example is the fact that the Rafael Toplite optronic system is now undergoing acceptance tests on some platforms. Last year, the system was tested on the Italian army’ s Mangusta A-129 helicopters. In this case, it is aimed at serving as the main targeting system of this helicopter that also carries the company’s Spike anti-tank missiles.
Toplite is a stabilized, multi-role, multi-sensor optronic payload, for day/night observation and targeting. It enables observation, target detection, recognition and identification by the use of various subsystems, including a 3rd generation FLIR and a B/W or color CCD sensor, and laser rangefinder.
Toplite features both manual and automatic target tracking. It can be integrated on and/or slaved to other control systems for receiving/providing real-time data and direction to other users, such as any C4I centers, Combat Management System, EW system, Radar, navigation systems, weapon systems, and others.
The Toplite is currently offered as a standalone system or as part of a weapons package that includes a member of the Rafael Spike missiles family.
But this is just one example to the way the Israeli manufacturers try to compete in the market that has become more and more complex.
Sources in the Israeli companies say that by offering a package of sensors and a weapons system together with proven capabilities in real combat helps in many of the cases but does not guarantee the winning of contracts.