Israel Aircraft Industries
Bedek Aircraft Co
Bedek Aircraft Ltd was established in 1950 as as an aircraft and aero-engine overhaul centre, and added the licence manufacture of Slingsby sailplanes to its activities in 1957.
Israel Aircraft Industries was established April 1967 from former Bedek Aircraft Company (founded 1953), as a repair and maintenance organization. Bedek manufactured Slingsby sailplanes under license from 1957, and also initiated license production of the French Fouga Magister.
In 1958 it obtained licence rights to manufacture the French Potez Air-Fouga Magister jet trainer for the Israeli Air Force ad flew its first Magister, assembled from imported components, in mid-1960. Delivery of aircraft manufactured entirely by IAI began in 1961 and the production rate was two or three per month.
IAI now composed of several operating groups and subsidiaries, including Bedek Aviation Group (for aircraft maintenance and modification/ upgrading, engine work, overhaul, and modification of components and subsystems, and manufacture of manned and unmanned ground equipment, boats and aircraft structures), Commercial Aircraft Group (work includes Westwind, Astra, and Galaxy business jets, manufacture of subassemblies for Boeing, and much more), Military Aircraft Group (overhaul, repair and modification of combat aircraft, design and manufacture of UAVs, and helicopter work), and Electronics Group.
Built Nesher fighter 1969, an Israeli-designed interim modified version of the French Mirage III. Developed a more-capable version as the Kfir, which first flew in 1973 and went through several progressively improved variants by manufacture and modification. Designed light STOL transport known as Arava, prototype of which first flew November 27,1969, and produced civil and military versions. Acquired in 1967 all rights of Rockwell-Standard Corporation's Jet Commander twin-turbojet business transport and developed this into the improved twin-turbofan IAI.1124 Westwind, which entered production in 1976. Developed the IAI.1125 Astra (first flown March 1984), which remained available in 1999 in latest SPX form.
Shareholder in Galaxy Aerospace in U.S.A., which promotes the Astra SPX and promotes and fits out the new Galaxy wide-body bizjet developed by IAI.
Developed the Phalcon airborne early warning and intelligence aircraft, using the conformal Phalcon radar system developed in cooperation with Elta Electronics Industries of lAI's Electronics Group, which can also be installed on aircraft other than the original modified Boeing 707 type (first B707/Phalcon flew May 1993; other platforms being proposed include Airbus A310, Boeing 767, and llyushin II-76).
In June 2001 Gulfstream bought Galaxy Aerospace from Israel Aircraft Industries.