This is one of the major programs IAI will be involved with in coming years. IAI is a subcontractor for some components such as the outer wings. We have an initial understanding for at least 800 units. We are a subcontractor on the F-16 and F-15, and see the same concept for the F-35. We are investing considerable money in the infrastructure for this work, so we are a risk-sharing partner for Lockheed Martin.
How will UAVs evolve, particularly in defensive airspace?
It is not my view that JSF will be the last manned aircraft, but the tendency to use UAVs in every air force is getting stronger. IAI is investing in everything needed to verify that the company will be there in coming years. We are in a good position, and IAI will be in the UAV business for decades.
Is there any work on an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) like X-47B or Neuron?
Our thinking goes in two directions, and no decision has been taken. A UCAV is a bigger investment, and part of our thinking [centers on] if and when it happens. But there is no question that more conventional UAVs will be there, in parallel, so we are improving their sensors and combat suites. UAVs are part of a package to answer user needs. As for defended airspace, there are many ways to negate defenses. One mission of future UAVs will be to go into defended environments, and we have to come to the customer with the proper solution. The approaches of IAI in UAVs will fill all the needs of the future combat area.
President and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries
Education: B.S. in mechanical engineering (1973) from the Technion and MBA (1990) from Tel Aviv University
Background: Named president and CEO of IAI in July 2012 after six years as head of the Systems, Missiles and Space group. Before that he led the division responsible for optical and radar reconnaissance satellites and communications satellites. Weiss joined IAI in 1998 after 27 years with the Israeli navy; his last assignment included management of the Dolphin submarine program.