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The Israeli planes will remain exposed: the state is stopping the funding of the "Magan Rakiye" system - voila! news

2023-02-16T10:41:39.635Z


The ongoing maintenance of the missile defense laser system stopped last month after about a billion shekels were invested in it - this is due to the termination of funding by the Treasury. The fear is that the Israeli airlines will be forced to reduce flights to the Gulf countries and Turkey when the new prime minister's plane will also remain without an active system


At the beginning of last month, a surprising order arrived at the Al-Op factory in Rehovot, which is owned by Elbit: the Civil Aviation Authority ordered the factory that developed the Israeli defense system for passenger planes "Magan Rakiye" to stop maintaining the systems in its hands.

This is in the absence of ability to pay for it.



The system was developed and purchased at a cost of about one billion shekels following an attempt to shoot down an aerial plane in Kenya in 2002.

It detects the launch of a shoulder missile and launches a laser beam that disrupts the missile's tracking of its target, causing it to deviate from its trajectory.

The activation of the system is automatic and does not require the intervention of the pilots and its installation in the planes is not permanent, because of the added weight and the damage it causes to the plane's performance.

Therefore, it is built into a pod installed in the lower part of the tail of the plane, so that it can be installed quickly before flights to high-risk countries, and removed afterwards.



The Ministry of Transportation has been designated as the ministry responsible for the system as the one that manages Israeli aviation, and the Shin Bet is the body that determines for the Israeli companies on which flights the planes will carry it. Today it is, among other things, the Gulf countries, Sinai and Turkey, to which the Israeli companies are soon to resume flights. The high number of flights to Dubai increased the use of pods that had already been produced, and increased maintenance expenses beyond previous years. Now, the non-renewal of the maintenance agreement may result in the Israeli companies soon being forced to cancel flights to the threatened countries, or to obtain permission to fly without the system. In addition to this, will join in the coming



months An additional aircraft to the fleet using the system: the Prime Minister's Boeing 767, "Kenaf Zion", which was determined to use the existing pod pool. Now there may not be a proper pod for it. Since the start of using the system about a decade ago, a debate has arisen about funding its use. The Ministry of Finance demanded that the companies


finance the day-to-day operation out of pocket, even though the state bears the expenses of the flight security.

The maiden flight of the Prime Minister's plane, Israel\ November 3, 2019 (Photo: TPS, Photo: Kobi Richter)

The government approved a budget of NIS 130 million between 2015 and 2019 for maintenance, to update the system against new threats, and as compensation to companies for every flight in which they were required to use it and to increase their fuel expenses.


During the Corona epidemic, Israeli flights were almost completely stopped, and the annual expenditure on maintenance dropped to a few million shekels.

Last year, with the return of Israeli aviation to full operation and the increase of flights to threatened countries, the aviation authority requested about one hundred million shekels for 2025-2022.



Last January, the Bennet-Lapid government accepted Resolution 989, according to which the state will bear the maintenance costs of the system and the compensation to the Israeli airlines until 2041. Despite this, the Treasury has refused to transfer the money in recent months.

The previous Minister of Transportation, Merav Michaeli, did not intervene in the matter, and neither did her replacement, Miri Regev.



Elbit received permission from the Ministry of Defense to export the system, which received the name "Dircam" in the export version, and it has already been sold to the German Air Force, NATO, the Emirates, and several military aircraft, such as the plane of the President of France, some of the aircraft of the Las Vegas Sands company The Aldson family.

Elbit pays the Ministry of Defense royalties in the amount of a few percent of each pod sale, so that the state even benefits from regular revenues from the system.



The Ministry of Finance stated that the budgeting for Magen Rakiye will be discussed as part of the discussions on the state budget.

The Treasury emphasized that the Ministry of Transportation is responsible for the project.



The National Security Headquarters, headed by Tzachi Hanegavi, said that "the head of the National Security Council has directed a comprehensive review of the project, and intends to raise the issue in all its aspects for discussion in the cabinet." The Ministry of Transportation did not provide a response



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Source: walla

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