TEL AVIV (Jan. 1)
Israel Aircraft Industries enjoyed a 50 percent increase in sales volume last year compared to 1974 and earnings of IL 20 million on a gross income of IL 1.2 billion, director general Al Schwimmer disclosed at a press conference yesterday at Ben Gurion Airport. He said that the costs of research and development left IAI with a net profit of IL 11 million which is still substantial at a time of severe economic distress in Israel.
Schwimmer. who founded IAI, one of Israel’s largest defense contractors and its leading producer of military and civilian aircraft, said the firm was feeling the effects of the government’s austerity program. He said cutbacks in orders from the Defense Ministry affected IAI’s subsidiary firms that produce helmets, electronic equipment and various metal and plastic products used by the military. But aircraft sales abroad show good prospects he said.
Schwimmer disclosed that the “Kfir,” the first combat plane designed and built in Israel, has attracted considerable attention and several foreign governments were negotiating to purchase the jet interceptor. He said that IAI has sold 45 of its civilian transports, the “Arava” to Latin American countries and has potential buyers in seven Far Eastern countries.