The pre-state Jewish governance, operating within the Palestinian Mandate, founded Israel Military Industries (IMI) in 1933. Jane’s reported that privatization of IMI will occur in the near future. 1 The Israeli government was forced to supply IMI with emergency loans twice in 2009. 2 In April 2010, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, and IMI management agreed to either make an initial public offering or sell the company outright. 3 In 2016, Israel Military Industries changed its name to IMI Systems. As of December 2021, IMI Systems remains wholly owned by the state of Israel.
IMI specializes in the development and manufacture of battle systems, selling its products to both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and some foreign countries. 4 IMI’s rocket systems division manufactures propulsion systems for ballistic missiles, including the solid-propellant motors used for the Jericho II and the Shavit SLV. 5
IMI also produces the Delilah family of light-weight cruise missiles, including its air-launched, ground-launched, helicopter-launched, and ship-launched variants. 6
- Ballistic missile
- A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory. The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target. Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision. Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
- Cruise missile
- An unmanned self-propelled guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path. There are subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles currently deployed in conventional and nuclear arsenals, while conventional hypersonic cruise missiles are currently in development. These can be launched from the air, submarines, or the ground. Although they carry smaller payloads, travel at slower speeds, and cover lesser ranges than ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can be programmed to travel along customized flight paths and to evade missile defense systems.
- Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM)
- A missile designed to be launched from an aircraft and jet-engine powered throughout its flight. As with all cruise missiles, its range is a function of payload, propulsion, and fuel volume, and can thus vary greatly. Under the START I Treaty, the term "long-range ALCM" means an air-launched cruise missile with a range in excess of 600 kilometers.
- Matthew Bell, “IMI finally moves toward privatization,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 9 December 2009.
- Sharon Wrobel, “Gov’t okays NIS 120m. emergency loan for Israel Military Industries. Deadline of 60 days set for privatization plan,” Jerusalem Post, 7 December 2009.
- Merav Ankori, “Breakthrough in Treasury, Defense Ministry IMI battle; If an IPO is deemed impossible, the company will be sold outright,” Globes, 21 April 2010; “Israel Aerospace Industries punches above its weight and believes it could get even bigger without government ownership,” Flight International, 26 January 2010.
- “About IMI,” Israel Military Industries Ltd., 22 March 2010, www.imi-israel.com.
- “Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3),” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems, 3 August 2009.
- “DELILAH,” Israel Military Industries Ltd., 30 March 2010, www.imi-israel.com.