19 July 1998 DM MORDECHAI DISCUSSES FUTURE OF DEFENSE INDUSTRIES (Communicated by Defense Minister's Media Adviser) Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai has held a series of meetings in recent days with Professor Amnon Pazi, who heads the Advisory Committee on Defense-Related Research and Development, and senior Defense Ministry and IDF personnel, on matters related to Israel's defense industries and the future of defense-related R&D. Professor Pazi presented his conclusions on the necessary changes from a security perspective on higher technological education in Israel and on obtaining technological manpower for the IDF. He emphasized that in order for the defense establishment to maintain and strengthen its advanced research and development system, it must place special efforts on maintaining and fostering quality personnel in the IDF and defense industry branches, by providing competitive incentives to engineers and scientists. DM Mordechai instructed the IDF to present him with a program that will significantly increase the scope of the academic reserve, which enables qualified candidates to defer military service until after completing their university degrees. Mr. Mordechai emphasized the importance of defense- related R&D, while focusing on the unique future strategic needs of the defense establishment. He also instructed the IDF and defense industries to present him with the ways and means needed to maintain their technological manpower's qualitative advantage. At a separate meeting, the minister's adviser on industry, Moshe Peled, presented the conclusions of the committee examining the future of Israel's defense industries, which he heads, and its recommendations regarding the Defense Ministry's policies regarding the future of Israeli defense industries in order to maintain and even improve their capabilities in light of increasing global competition and declining defense budgets. The recommendations are based on the following principles: * The continued, and even increased, need of the existence of an advanced defense industry as a necessary cornerstone of Israel's security; * The desire to enable the defense industries to realize their unique technological potential in order to compete with foreign competitors, on the basis of a great deal of cooperation between them, in a world of mergers between large defense companies. * The defense industries must protect their advanced qualitative edge in technology by maintaining a close relationship with their main end-user -- the IDF. Such a relationship will enable industry to survive and develop in the future. Mr. Mordechai said that Israel's defense industry must accommodate itself to a changing reality, while continuing to guarantee its essential role in supplying advanced and unique weapons systems to the IDF. He emphasized the defense industries' centrality to the country's security. Finally, he approved the committee's main recommendations and instructed that the necessary details be worked out, in cooperation with industry management and employees, before presenting the conclusions and recommendations to the Government Companies Authority and the cabinet. . ===================================================================== Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem Mail all Queries to URL: gopher:// =====================================================================