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The Mapping Project

Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems is Israel's largest weapons developer. Elbit maintains sites, fully-owned subsidiary sites, and manufacturing facilities in Israel, the United States, and around the world. Elbit manufactures drones, large weapon systems, surveillance towers, ammunition, and other weapons and technologies. Israel regularly uses Elbit's products against captive Palestinian populations, allowing Elbit to market these products as "battle proven" to other repressive governments around the world. Elbit's products are widely utilized by both the US military (for its violence and repression against Global South peoples worldwide) as well as the US Department of Homeland Security (for its militarized crackdown against Black and Brown migrants domestically). Elbit's fully owned American Subsidiary, KMC Systems, has one manufacturing site an hour north of Boston in Merrimack NH. KMC Systems also recently opened a facility in Cambridge, MA focused on "medical instrumentation capabilities."

Support for the Israeli military

As reported by AFSC Investigate, Elbit's 2018 acquisition of IMI Systems (formerly the Israeli state-owned company "Israel Military Industries") gave Elbit an effective monopoly on the provision of many weapon systems to the Israeli military. As of 2015, Elbit was supplying 85% of Israel's total drone arsenal. Indeed, Elbit's website has boasted that its Hermes 450 drone is the “backbone of Israel’s UAS fleet." Israel regularly utilizes Elbit's drones for surveillance, target acquisition, and intelligence gathering, and Israel has utilized Elbit's Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 drones armed with missiles to carry out assassinations of Palestinians and other people in the region during its military campaigns. For example, Israel deployed its arsenal of Elbit Hermes 450 drones during its 2006 military offensive against Lebanon, with the Hermes 450 drones logging a combined 15,000 flight hours during this offensive. Over the course of Israel's 2006 offensive against Lebanon, Israel killed 1,109 Lebanese people and deliberately targeted Lebanese civilian infrastructure. During Israel’s 2014 aerial assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (“Operation Protective Edge”), 37% of Palestinians killed, or 840 people, were killed by Israeli airstrikes conducted using its Elbit-supplied drone fleet.

AFSC Investigate further details Elbit's broad support for Israel's surveillance infrastructure along its so-called "separation wall" in the West Bank (often dubbed the "annexation wall" or "apartheid wall"), and along Israel's walls, fences, and other border infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights. Specifically, Elbit played a central role in developing Israel's border control system, the Rotem-Reut System, which Israel has utilized at its military checkpoints in order to identify people using biometric data, then cross-check Israeli police, prison service, and security services data to determine whether to allow or deny any given person to move through checkpoints, or whether to arrest them (see: here and here). Through a joint venture with Israeli Aerospace Industries, Elbit developed a semi-autonomous, armed border patrol robot called "the Guardium Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)." Subsequently, Elbit developed a fully-autonomous armed and armored vehicle called "the Segev UGV."

Elbit Systems is currently attempting to establish a 112,838 dunams large military testing facility in a part of the Naqab Desert inhabited by five Palestinian Bedouin villages. Elbit's planned facility in the Naqab would expose 5,000 Palestinians to forced displacement and would expose Palestinian Bedouin residents who remain in the area to health, safety, and environmental risks, all while imposing building and development restrictions on neighboring Palestinian villages.

Support for the US military

Israel's regular use of Elbit's weapons and technologies against captive Palestinian populations allows Elbit to openly market its products as "battle-proven" (read: battle-proven against Palestinians) to other repressive governments around the world (see for example: here, here, here, and here). Chief among the repressive governments enticed by Elbit's "battle-proven" products is the United States. To date, Elbit Systems has received $3.55 billion through US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts for the provision of products and services to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and other branches of the US armed forces. Sales to the United States DoD and other US agencies accounted for 22% of Elbit's total revenue in the year 2020. Elbit maintains six fully-owned subsidiary sites located in the United States, including one site an hour north of Boston in Merrimack NH, where the company manufactures its weapons and surveillance technologies.

Support for US violence against migrants

In addition to its support for the US military, Elbit Systems maintains expansive business relations with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the parent agency of US Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). DHS, ICE, and CBP collectively enforce the US government's regime of tracking, detentions, and deportations of Black and Brown migrants. Elbit has received $233.01 million to date from contracts with the Department of Homeland Security. Elbit's tight ties with the US Department of Homeland Security are likely the result of Elbit's strategic marketing of their border surveillance technologies as “field proven” from the experience of “10+ years securing the world’s most challenging borders.”

As reported by AFSC Investigate, Elbit has found particular success in obtaining US DHS contracts to supply US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with surveillance technologies used to monitor the US-Mexico border. Among Elbit technologies favored by CBP are Elbit's "Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT)," 80 to 160-foot tall structures equipped with cameras and radar systems capable of identifying people from as far as 7.5 miles away. As of September 2020, CBP had 50 of Elbit's Integrated Fixed Towers in operation along the US-Mexico border. CBP has also purchased and deployed Elbit's Hermes 450 drones to surveil the US-Mexico border and surrounding areas.

Support for violence and repression worldwide

Israel's regular utilization of Elbit's weapons and technologies against captive Palestinian allows Elbit to openly market its products as "battle-proven" (read: battle-proven against Palestinians) to other repressive governments around the world (see for example: here, here, here, and here). Governments that have purchased Elbit's "battle-proven" products for their own regimes of violence and repression include (but are not limited to):

For a full list of governments that have purchased Elbit products, see p. 19-20 of this document.

Links to the Boston Area

In September 2021, Elbit systems and its fully owned American Subsidiary KMC Systems announced that Elbit would be "opening of a new corporate innovation center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts." Elbit noted that its new Cambridge site would be "focused on creating a high-tech engineering design and innovation center as the company continues to expand its medical instrumentation capabilities into new markets including next generation sequencing and cell and gene therapy." Elbit further noted: "Cambridge also gives us important access to top talent from nationally recognized, local education institutions." In October-November 2021, Elibt and KMC began posting dozens of job and student co-op openings for their new Cambridge MA office on job listing websites.

KMC Systems General Manager Derek Kane has stated about the company's new site in Cambridge: "The Cambridge center will also serve as a proving ground for technologies that can be applied across Elbit’s verticals. We see technologies we can leverage across all markets such as advanced optical and imaging capabilities ... Likewise, some of the data-analytics that are used in healthcare may be applicable in non-healthcare markets." Scott Baum, vice president for strategy and growth at KMC further noted: "KMC’s new office space includes 10,000 square feet of workspace designed for new engineering projects and an additional 50-60 Elbit America engineers. The space may also be leveraged for expanding Elbit America’s industry partnerships, including room for start-up companies looking for a Boston-based location. KMC’s local manufacturing capabilities can reduce new products’ time to market. Elbit America and KMC are strategically planning for the future across its defense and medical divisions." (see also: here) These statements from KMC leadership indicate that Elbit's activities at its new site in Cambridge MA will not be strictly limited to "medical instrumentation capabilities," and may include development of the company's weapons systems and surveillance technologies. The location of Elbit's new site, the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge, further suggests that Elbit aims to utilize the new site to recruit from and establish links with Harvard and MIT.

Elbit also maintains one of its six US-based weapons manufacturing sites an hour north of Boston in Merrimack, NH. Among other weapons and technologies Elbit produces at its Merrimack NH site are night vision goggles, which Elbit provides to the US military through a $54 million contract.

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