As Israel celebrates its 75th Independence Day, it is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Over the past 75 years, we have grown to become one of the world’s largest technology ecosystems and have shared our best practices with others. We have grown from being an “island of one” in the Middle East to having neighbors who have become close friends over the past few years. As we mark this historic milestone, we are also ushering in a new era for Israel, one with even more opportunities awaiting.
Israel has long been known as the Start-Up Nation due to founding the most technology companies per capita, but it is also part of the spirit of our people and in our DNA. We are creative problem solvers and develop solutions to challenges both large and small. Despite our size, the phrase “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” applies most perfectly to Israel. Many are aware of the innovations developed in Israel that have helped consumers around the world, such as PillCam – a swallowable medical camera; Watergen – drinking water produced from air; Waze – real-time traffic information; and the list goes on and on. There are also many technologies developed that are not as public, such as those in the defense and aerospace sectors. We have developed many solutions that keep us safe, such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS); communication satellites; radars; and surveillance satellites. These are developed and in use in Israel, as well as by our friends around the world, as they keep their countries safe from growing geopolitical threats.
Israel has worked closely with its friends around the world over the last 75 years to share its innovations and best practices to help others as well. Whether it is sending rescue teams to countries impacted by natural disasters or working collaboratively to develop solutions in sectors such as agri-tech, climate-tech, water, defense and aerospace, we are working hand in hand with others for the betterment of society.
Israel’s history of innovation
We have a long history of working with counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe, but in the last few years we have had the chance to work together with neighbors who have become friends. The Abraham Accords opened up a new opportunity for knowledge sharing and working with our counterparts in Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. IAI was proud to make history by representing Israel at the Dubai Airshow in 2021, and at the Bahrain International Airshow in 2022.
Just recently, we participated in IDEX and NAVDEX, where for the first time Israel and the UAE participated in a joint unmanned maritime demonstration for the first time in history. EDGE, ADSB and IAI jointly produced an autonomous vessel fitted with sensors, sonar, and imaging systems integrated into a partially or entirely remotely operated unified command and control system, which does not require human intervention. This was yet another first in a long list of firsts that have taken place since the Accords were signed in September 2020.
The Ofek-13 satellite that was launched on March 29 is the latest proof of IAI’s power as Israel’s space home and its significant contribution to the Israeli defense establishment. From now on, Israel will gain groundbreaking intelligence capabilities. The Ofek 13 is the most advanced of its kind, with unique radar observation capabilities, and will enable intelligence collection in any weather and conditions of visibility, thus enhancing strategic intelligence. The satellite comprises groundbreaking Israeli-made technologies and will join the IAI’s Ofek series in space that operate to strengthen the defense establishment’s intelligence superiority.
Celebrating Israel’s 75th is a time to come together and reflect on the successes of the past 75 years and recommit to our country’s legacy of innovation and collaboration. The success of Israel as a country is based on the success of each of us individually, and we must work together to make this happen. We have come so far in the last seven decades; and in an exciting way, this is the beginning of the next chapter as we look forward to the next 75 years.
“It’s not enough to be up to date; you have to be up to tomorrow.”
As Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion once said, “It’s not enough to be up to date; you have to be up to tomorrow.” That statement is true to Israel’s core. We are always thinking one step ahead; and as we mark this momentous occasion, we should look forward to tomorrow and the 75 years after that. ■
Boaz Levy is the president and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries, a world-leading aerospace and defense company innovating and delivering state-of-the-art technologies in space, air, land, naval, cyber and homeland security for defense and commercial markets.