Speech by Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Alon Ushpiz at the Inauguration of Rafael Iron Dome at Aero India 2013, Bangalore
7 February, 2013
DG of MOD, Major General (Ret.) Udi Shani,
Chairman of Rafael, Major General (Ret.) Ilan Biran
CEO of Rafael, Vice Admiral (Ret.) Yedidya Yaari
Dir. Of SIBAT, Brig Gen (Ret.) Shmaia Avieli,
Israel's Defence Attaché to India, Col. Avi Peled,
Head of Rafael India Office, Col. (Ret.) Yossi Turjeman
Consul General of Israel to Bangalore, Mr. Menachem Kanafi,
Honorable representatives of the Israeli Defence Industries,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Imagine what a 10 year old boy feels like, when rockets and missiles fall down from the sky towards his home and his neighborhood.
Now, imagine what this boy feels like, when one day, he starts witnessing, time after time, how the system you see in front of you, detects, engages and intercepts these deadly rockets and missiles in mid-air.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is a very special moment for us.
It is special for 2 reasons:
Firstly, because it is an opportunity to display what I believe is one of the most amazing, impressive and effective defence solutions developed in recent times.
But secondly, it is special to us because we are displaying these solutions for the first time here in India, an intimate partner of Israel in our mutual strive to protect and defend our citizens.
What you see in front of you today is the fruit of a close cooperation between some of the best minds in the Israeli defence establishment. Minds that came together with one major goal in their eyes - how to protect human lives.
And, ladies and Gentlemen, the result was way beyond anyone's expectations.
In the recent operation Pillar of Defence, when 1500 rockets were fired by terrorists, targeting over half of Israel's population including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, everyone watched with awe and admiration how the Iron Dome performed. We will thankfully never know how many people owe their lives to this system and to the people who developed it.
The Iron Dome proved itself as a remarkable asset, not only because it saved numerous lives. It also clearly prevented an escalation of the conflict, and allowed the decision makers in Israel to conduct the operation and achieve its goals, in a calculated and efficient manner.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Iron Dome is the epitome of Israeli defence innovation, creativity, and professionality. It is also a symbol of how we cherish human lives, and of our determination to protect our people.
It is therefore a great source of pride for us to present these systems here in India, in one of the most important aero shows in the world.
Thank you very much.