|Revenue||$2.37 billion USD (2016)|
|$134 million USD (2016)|
|Owner||State of Israel|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Missiles and NCW Division|
Ordnance and Protection Division
Manor - Advanced Defense Technologies Division
|Subsidiaries||RDC (RAFAEL Development Corporation)|
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. (Hebrew: ? - ? "?, formerly: RAFAEL Armament Development Authority), known as RAFAEL or Rafael, (also spelled as Raphael or Rephael; Hebrew acronym of "Authority for the Development of Armaments" - ? ??? ?? ??) is an Israeli defense technology company. It was founded as Israel's National R&D Defense Laboratory for the development of weapons and military technology within the Israeli Ministry of Defense; in 2002 it was incorporated as a limited company.
Rafael develops and produces weapons, military, and defense technologies for the Israel Defense Forces and for export abroad. All current projects are classified.
Rafael was established in 1948 as the Science Corps (Hebrew: ?, known by the acronym HEMED, Hebrew: ) under the leadership of Shlomo Gur. It was renamed the Research and Design Directorate ( ) in 1952. In 1952 David Ben-Gurion decided to split into two agencies the activities of HEMED. The pure scientific research was left with HEMED, while the development of weapons was placed in the new EMET agency.
In 1995, Yitzhak Rabin asked Amos Horev to become chairman of the board of Rafael, following many years in which Horev had served as chairman of Rafael's advisory committee. Horev served as chairman until January 2001.
During the early 1990s Rafael was operating at a loss (peaking in 1995, with a loss of $120 million on a turnover of $460 million). Therefore, it was decided to restructure the organization and start operating Rafael as a company. Initially the new company had three discrete divisions, each operating as a profit centre, with a separate balance sheet presented to the newly formed management board.
The restructuring was completed in 2002 when Rafael was formally incorporated as a limited company (although still as a government-owned corporation), while maintaining its technological capabilities through an investment of about 10% of turnover in R&D programs. In its first year as a limited company, Rafael earned a $37 million profit on $830 million in sales. By 2016, Rafael reported annual net profits of 473 million ILS (roughly 130 million dollars), up 3%, compared with ILS 459 million in 2015. New orders in 2016 totaled ILS 10.7 billion, and sales amounted to ILS 8.32 billion, 6% more than in 2015. The company's orders backlog as of the end of 2016 was ILS 21.72 billion, 12% more than at the end of 2015.
On October 14, 2007 the company changed its name from Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
In 1993, Rafael Development Corporation (RDC), a technology transfer company, was established as a joint venture with Elron Electronic Industries; in order to commercialize applications based on defense technologies for medical devices, telecommunications, and semiconductor industries. The company has successfully established and developed several companies including:
[Microsoft corporate vice president of Israel Research & Development Moshe Lichtman] said, for the first time officially, that "the R&D center helped Microsoft in buying the intellectual property of 3DV Systems, and in the wake of that dozens of the company's employees were recruited to work at the development center."