Nearly 150 people from the Baltimore-Washington corridor turned out on Thursday evening to hear from the brains behind the Iron Dome. The Maryland/Israel Development Center’s (MIDC) event, which was held at ELTA North America featured Dr. David Machuga of ELTA Systems, Ltd., the designers and producers of Iron Dome’s radar system and Gideon Weiss of Rafael Advanced Systems, the developer of the Iron Dome. Both companies have offices in Maryland.
“I know everyone left here tonight with a greater understanding of these two outstanding companies, the important contributions the country of Israel offers the world and the vital role that the MIDC plays in fostering relationships between Israeli and Maryland companies,“ said Alvin Katz of KatzAbosch, the sponsor of the evening. “I think we all left knowing that Israel and the world are safer thanks to these two companies.”
Not only do companies like these work to keep Israel safer, ELTA and Rafael do a lot for Maryland’s economy. According to the MIDC, ELTA, whose office opened last year in Howard County, has already hired more than a dozen people for high-tech, high-paying jobs and has plans to recruit as many as 75 more people in the new four years. ELTA and Rafael also benefit from Maryland in that the state is a leader in engineering and technology.
“These are big, big companies that do a lot of work with the major defense contractors in the area,” said Barry Bogage, Executive Director of the MIDC and who has worked closely with ELTA and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to bring ELTA to the state.
Because of the impact that these companies have in Maryland and Israel, the program also included addresses from Ken Ulman, County Executive of Howard County and Oren Marmenstein, Diplomatic Head of Regional Affairs at the Embassy of Israel to the United States.
Due to the sensitivity and nature of the topic, the presentations could not be photographed or videotaped but Weiss was able to describe Rafael’s role in the Iron Dome’s development and deployment and how it fits into Israel’s multi-layered missile and rocket defense. He also noted the many companies that contributed to the development and helped make its deployment possible. “Tonight’s program is just one example of the exciting opportunities offered by the MIDC,” Katz concluded.
The MIDC is a non-profit membership organization that promotes trade and investment between Maryland and Israeli companies. It is a partnership of the Baltimore Department of Business and Economic Development, Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The MIDC relies on the strength and support of its members.