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Elbit Systems Ltd.
Founded 1967
Headquarters Haifa, Israel
Key people Michael Federmann (Chairman of the board, Joseph Ackerman President and CEO)
Industry Aerospace, Defence, IT
Products Defence Electronics, Tactical Radios, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Remote weapon systems, Radar,
Revenue US$ 2,638 million (2008)
Operating income $ 223.86 million (2008)
Profit $ 204.18 million (2008)
Employees 10,867 (2008)
Subsidiaries Elbit Systems of America, Tadiran Communications Ltd., Electro-Optics Elop Ltd. (Elop), Elisra, Cyclone Aviation Products, UAV Tactical Systems Ltd. (U-TacS)

Elbit Systems Ltd. NASDAQESLT is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. Established in 1967, and based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit employs 11,000 people worldwide.

Elbit Systems is traded on NASDAQ as well as on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange where it is a constitute of the TA-25 Index of leading shares; however, as of 2008 over 45% of its stock is owned or controlled by Michael Federmann, who serves as the company's Chairman of the Board.[1]




Early Years – A division within Elron

Elbit Systems was founded in 1966 by Elron Electronic Industries (TASEELRN), which combined the existing expertise within the Israel Ministry of Defense-Research Institute in special computer design with Elron's experience in electronic product design, manufacture and management (initially under the name Elbit Computers). Elbit steadily expanded developing and producing logistic-support weapon delivery and navigation systems for most Israeli aircraft, establishing a combat avionics package for the IAI Lavi fighter aircraft, and producing a fire-control system for the Merkava tank.[2]

1996 IPO on NASDAQ

In 1996, Elbit spun off into three independent companies:

  • Elbit Medical Imaging NASDAQEMITF - During 1999 to 2000 Elscint (Another affiliate of Elron) and Elbit Medical Imaging sold their imaging activities to General Electric Medical Systems and to Picker (now part of Philips Medical Systems) for approximately $600 million.
  • Elbit Systems – Created as the defence electronics arm of Elbit, the company had an Initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock market and finished its first day of trading at a price of $7.75 (on 25 August 2009 it reach an all time high of $70.69).
  • Elbit - which focused on communications activities and in 1999 led the consortium that founded Partner Communications Company Ltd., Israel's first GSM operator NASDAQPTNR. In 2002 Elbit was merged into Elron. Elron sold its shares in Partner during 2003-2006 for approximately $160 million.

Merger with El-Op

In 2000 Elbit Systems merged with El-Op (a company controlled by the current Chairman, Michael Federmann), creating the largest non governmental defense electronics company in Israel and increasing Elbit Systems' value which later in 2004 enabled Elron to sell its shares in Elbit Systems for approximately $200 million. Following the merger with El-Op, Michael Federmann became the largest shareholder in the combined group.

Growth by acquisition

Following the merger with El-Op, Michael Federmann and CEO Joseph Ackerman led an aggressive growth by acquisitions strategy. The company acquired companies, including:

  • Elisra (70% ownership)
  • Tadiran Communications
  • Shiron Satellite Communications
  • Mikal Ltd
  • BVR Systems
  • Assets of Israel Military Industries’ Aircraft Systems Division
  • Innovative Concepts, Inc.

BDS Campaign

Elbit is one of the companies whose activities have drawn the attention of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

On September 3rd 2009, the Norwegian Pension Fund's ethical council decided to sell the fund's stocks in Elbit due to the corporations supply of surveillance systems for the Israeli West Bank barrier.[3] At a press conference to announce the decision, Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen said "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law". The Norwegian Ambassador to Israel was called to a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry where the decision was protested.[4]

In January 2010, Danske Bank added Elbit to the list of companies that fail its Socially Responsible Investment policy; a bank spokesman noted that it was acting in the interests of its customers by not 'placing their money in companies that violate international standards'[5][6]. The Danish financial watchdog Danwatch [1] has also placed Elbit on its ethical blacklist[7], and one of Denmark's largest pension fund administrators PKA Ltd. [2] announced it will no longer consider investing in Elbit.[6]

Major Subsidiaries

Elbit's major subsidiaries and affiliated companies include Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Industries Elop (Elop), Cyclone Aviation Products (Cyclone), Tadiran Communications, Silver Arrow, Ortek, and Elisra. Among products manufactured by Elbit are the Enhanced Tactical Computer and the Elbit Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle.

Global Presence


The Aeroeletronica (AEL) is a Brazilian company that has more than two decades of experience on the defense industry. In 2001, the AEL has become part of the Elbit Systems Group.[8]


Elbit also owns several companies in the United States through its American subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America (ESA):


In 2005 Elbit set up a joint venture company in the UK with Thales, UAV Tactical Systems Ltd (U-TacS), developing the British Army Watchkeeper WK450. On 7 December 2007 it was announced that QinetiQ LSE: QQ. will join the programme as a sub-contractor to provide testing services at ParcAberporth, West Wales. [10]


AE Electronics S.A. Bacau was founded in 1998 as a joint venture company with S.C. Aerostar S.A. (Romania) [11]


  1. ^ Elbit Systems LTD 2008 Form 20-F, p. 74
  2. ^ , Elron's story - Technology Investment With Vision, retrieved 2009-10-06 
  3. ^ "Norwegian Gov't Pension Fund exits Elbit Systems". Globes [online], Israel business news. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  4. ^ Hass, Amira; Barak Ravid (2009-09-03). "Israel summons Norway envoy to protest divestment from arms firm". Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Israeli companies excluded from bank's investments". Copenhagen Post. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Danish pension funds divest from Israeli companies". Ma'an News Agency. 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  7. ^ "DanWatch's sortliste" (in Danish). Danwatch. 01-01-2010. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Goldman, Laura (2006-10-15). "Israeli technology to keep US borders safe". Israel21c. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  10. ^ , Qinetiq wins Watchkeeper drone test contract, retrieved 2009-10-06 
  11. ^ ,, retrieved 2009-10-06 

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